Gymnastics Concludes Record-Breaking Season

YGT 2019. Photo by: Linus Toy
YGT 2019. Photo by: Linus Toy

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Yale gymnastics finished in third-place with an overall team score of 193.725 in the afternoon semifinal session of the USAG Championships Friday inside Wheeler Recreation Center on the campus of Bridgeport.

Semi-final one standings included Air Force in the first-place position (194.825) with Lindenwood in the second-place spot (194.800). Yale finished behind the two teams, with a 193.725 and West Chester rounded out the field with a fourth-place score of 191.675. As for the second semi-final, Bridgeport earned a team score of 195.750 securing its first-qualifier spot. UIC followed with a 195.675 edging out Cornell who posted a 193.400. Rounding out the meet was TWU (193.225) placing fourth. This concludes the 2019 season for the Bulldogs.

Team Standings in Semi-Final Session One

  1. Air Force-194.825
  2. Lindenwood-194.800
  3. Yale-193.725
  4. West Chester-191.675

Team Standings in Semi-Final Session Two

  1. Bridgeport-195.750
  2. UIC-195.675
  3. Cornell-193.400
  4. Texas Woman's-193.225

Team finals featured Air Force, Bridgeport, Lindenwood and UIC.

The results were as follows:

  1. Lindenwood-196.375
  2. UIC-196.025
  3. Bridgeport-195.925
  4. Air Force-194.575 

Junior Jade Buford and sophomore Alyssa Firth were the two lead-off routines for the Bulldog bar lineup on the first event of the evening. Buford hit a solid bar set, posting a 9.600, contributing to Yale's team bar score of a 48.600. First-year Lindsay Chia stuck her first event, earning a 9.675. Catching all releases and sticking her dismount, fellow first-year Kendal Toy matched Chia with a 9.675, keeping the energy high for the Bulldogs. Senior Roxanne Trachtenberg earned her advancement to the individual finals and placed fourth overall with a huge 9.775. Senior Jessica Wang remained in the anchor spot, sticking her routine with a bang posting another 9.875 for the season. Joining Trachtenberg, Wang's score advanced her to the individual finals Sunday evening as well as earning runner-up of the meet on this event. Overall, the team earned second among the four teams on this event. Five of the six gymnasts in line-up earned a top 20 finish.

Yale rotated to the second event of the evening, the balance beam. Sophomore Charlotte Cooperman led the way for Yale on beam sticking her set, posting a massive 9.550. Junior Carly Israel joined Cooperman with an outstanding performance of a 9.600, sticking each skill with precision and grace. 2019 Athlete of the Year Buford stuck her second event had the highest score for the Bulldogs, highlighting the event with an astounding beam routine (9.725). Junior Emma Firmstone added another stuck set to the line-up (9.500). Wang performed another near-perfect beam routine this season with a score of 9.825, having the crowd go wild at her stuck beam skills. Chia put up a smooth beam set, earning a 9.250. Buford and Wang tied for thirteenth-place. Yale's solid beam lineup did not disappoint, performing under pressure and recording a team score of 48.100. 

Opening on floor, Cooperman led off the Bulldogs with a hit routine (9.525). Four Bulldogs finished with scores of 9.700 or higher sticking their three-pass floor sets. One of those was junior Anna Jennings posting a 9.700 after sticking a massive double-tuck. Firmstone got the crowd energized with a score of 9.650, before Buford notched a 9.775 with her upbeat floor music and huge tumbling. Buford placed ninth overall. Junior Rebecca Chong posted a 9.725, finishing off her first of two events of the meet. Anchor Firth did not disappoint, posting a huge 9.725 to end the third event on a high note. The Bulldogs culminated a 48.575 on the event, placing third among the four teams on floor exercise. Five Bulldogs placed top 20.

Yale moved onto the last event vault, where Jennings carried over high energy from floor exercise, posting a 9.625 with a yurchenko full in a tuck position. Trachtenberg in the number two position remained consistent, continuing the momentum throughout the event earning a 9.625 with a yurchenko-tuck full. Buford saw her way into her fourth line-up this competition, delivering an outstanding vault, adding another 9.650 to the vault team score. Chong competed her second event of the evening with 9.725 half twist, while Cooperman posted a 9.700 with a yurchenko full. Firth finished up the vault sticking a massive 9.750 yurchenko-full. The sophomore placed eighth overall. Team vault earned a total event score of 48.450, breaking their fourth vault record this season. The score places this lineup as the eighth-highest team vault score in school history. All six gymnasts in line-up had a top 20 finish.

Buford played a big role in helping Yale earn a third place finish. She finished third in the all-around competition with a total of 38.750, barely behind the runner-up, Anna Kaziska (39.025) of SEMO. Tyler Davis of Air Force won with a 39.175.

Within the 2019 season, 32 team records have been broken. Next, Yale will look to individual finals Sunday, Apr., 15 at 1:00 p.m. as two gymnasts vie for individual titles. Trachtenberg and Wang qualified for bars.

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report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity