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Gymnasts Nearly Sweep all ECAC Weekly Awards; Baldovino, Buford and Wang Honored

Jessica Wang, Jacey Baldovino, Jade Buford
Jessica Wang, Jacey Baldovino, Jade Buford

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Following their historic performance at Brown Sunday, the Yale gymnastics team once again had gymnasts honored by the ECAC in their weekly awards. Each week, the ECAC gives out four different honors: gymnast of the week, rookie of the week, specialist of the week and coaches' choice honors. Yale had a gymnast honored in three out of the four categories, making it a near Yale sweep of the honors for the week ending Feb. 25.

First-year Jacey Baldovino earned Rookie of the Week for the sixth time in 2018. A Bulldog has been given the honor for the past five weeks. Sophomore Jade Buford was given the Gymnast of the Week honor, making this her second ECAC honor this season. Junior Jessica Wang was honored as Specialist of the Week after her record-setting performance on the uneven bars Sunday. The efforts of these three individuals greatly contributed to the Bulldogs' highest team score in school history years (195.025).

The sophomore from Coppell, Texas earned three, first-place finishes this past weekend at the Ivy League Classic. She placed first in the all-around with a new career high of 39.225 sticking multiple landings during the meet. On vault, Buford's career-high of a 9.800 put her at the top of the podium. Her third and final first-place finish came on the floor routine as she tied her career high with a 9.900. She rounded out her all-around competition with a 9.800 on bars and a 9.725 on the balance beam. Her performance led Yale to its first Ivy League Classic champions since 2005.

"The 2018 Ivy Classic will be one of the most memorable competitions of my career at Yale. Our team is dominant and confident. We knew we were capable of claiming the title. I am ecstatic I could share this experience with my teammates," Buford said. "We each play a critical role in the team's success and we have a lot more in store for the rest of this season."

Wang, from Chino Hills, Calif. tied her career high on bars with a 9.900 this past weekend at the Ivy League Classic. She took first place on the event and was the strong anchor, helping seal the victory for the Bulldogs. Her score also marks the sixth week in a row that she has scored 9.800 or better on bars, giving her high chances of making NCAA Regionals. Additionally, Wang contributed on the balance beam with a 9.625.

"It's surreal that we've come this far as a team and we couldn't have done it without the love and constant support of our teammates. I'm so proud of each and every one on YGT," Wang said.
 
Rookie Baldovino from Santa Clara, Calif. won another weekly award after placing second in the all-around at the Ivy League Classic behind teammate, Buford. She placed first on beam with a 9.825, fourth on bars with a 9.800, fifth on floor with a 9.800 and pitched in with a 9.575 on vault. Her second-place all-around score was a 39.000.

"Ivy Classic was hands down the most enjoyable competition i've ever been a part of. We started off strong on beam, carrying over massive amounts of energy to the other events. I was close to tears after Jess, our uneven bars anchor, stuck her dismount after a near perfect routine (9.900). It was incredible to see hard work paying off," Baldovino said.

report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity