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Gymnasts Break Over 194 Against New Hampshire

Alyssa Firth. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Alyssa Firth. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Following a first-place finish at home last weekend, No. 41 Yale returned home to the John J. Lee Amphitheater Sunday as the Bulldogs went head-to-head against No. 37 New Hampshire. The Wildcats took an early lead to win the meet (195.350). Close behind, the Bulldogs finished with a 194.125. This is the third time this season the Bulldogs have earned over a 193.000. The 2019 Yale gymnastics team has set a standard for what is to come this season, already breaking five records three meets into this season -- including a school-record team floor score on Sunday. 

Yale started off the afternoon with a great performance on the vault, which was the Bulldogs' second-best event of the day. Upperclassmen dominated, filling five of the seven spots in lineup, earning a total score of 48.175. Junior Anna Jennings led this event off for the third weekend in a row with a 9.600. Senior Roxanne Trachtenberg followed, earning a 8.700. Junior Jade Buford started her all-around competition, contributing a solid score of 9.625. Sophomores Charlotte Cooperman and Alyssa Firth put up incredible yurchenko fulls, earning 9.675 and 9.650. Junior Rebecca Chong competed yet another fantastic yurchenko half, joining Buford with a 9.625. Four Bulldogs placed top 10. Rounding out the rotation, junior Carly Israel landed her vault for the exhibition position. 

"Now that we have competed at home once already, we are more comfortable competing in front of our supportive home crowd. Our goal was to build off the first event's success and bring that confidence and consistency to bars," said Trachtenberg.

Yale hit a 48.425 performance on the uneven bars. Firth started off this event (8.550). First-year Lindsay Chia stuck her dismount, earning a 9.475. Buford came up in the third spot, delivering an impressive bar set earning 9.575. Tratchenberg executed a gorgeous bar routine, sticking her dismount and earning a 9.725 that led her to a top five finish. Sophomore Jacey Baldovino made her way into the lineup, sticking her dismount, earning her a third-place finish (9.800). The Bulldogs' score was bolstered by a near season-best 9.850 from senior Jessica Wang. She took second place on this event. Topping off the rotation, first-year Kendal Toy put up a hit routine in the exhibition spot.

"My second home meet was so full of energy. I loved seeing a number of my friends and family in the stands supporting us. For next week, I'm looking forward to improving my bars score and hopefully compete a second event depending on my ankle recovery," said Chia.

The Bulldogs moved to the balance beam for the third rotation as they posted a total score of 48.575. Cooperman started off with a strong 9.700, sticking her dismount. Senior captain Kiarra Alleyne made her debut of the day and kept the momentum going for the Bulldogs, posting a 9.725 hit beam routine. Junior Emma Firmstone and Wang followed Alleyne in the lineup with a pair of 9.750s. All three earned a top 10 spot. Buford earned a 8.975 on this event to continue her all-around. Baldovino put up an outstanding anchor performance for a 9.675. Firth earned the exhibition spot, finishing out this event nicely.

The Bulldogs caught fire on their last rotation, posting a 48.950 on the floor exercise. Cooperman led the Bulldogs with a huge 9.700, tying her career high. That was her third appearance of the day. Firmstone delivered and tied her season best (9.725), while Buford and Firth followed by earning a 9.800 and 9.875. Firth not only competed a career-high scoring routine, but won this event overall. Her score propelled Yale to break the school floor team score record. Alleyne competed a massive routine, sticking every pass and earning a 9.850, taking second place to teammate Firth. Chong showed off her personality in her routine, posting another 9.125. Finishing off the event, Baldovino took the exhibition spot.

Yale had one competitor in the all-around. Buford posted a 37.975, securing a second-place finish.

The Bulldogs return home next weekend for the Don Tonry Invitational next Saturday, Feb. 2 for their fourth competition of the season. It will be a quad competition including Bridgeport, SCSU and Springfield. Competition begins at 12:00 pm.


report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity