BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Yale gymnastics team delivered one of its best performances of the 2018 season Saturday, as a team score of 194.650 resulted in the competition title. The score is fifth in the school record books. The 2018 team will go down in Yale history as the first to score above a 194 for five meets in a season. The Bulldogs edged out Bridgeport Purple Knights (194.275), Brown (192.600) and Centenary (190.000). This competition team score for Yale places sixth in the school record books.
Yale started off the competition on uneven bars, where first-year Jacey Baldovino was the top scorer, earning first-place. Her score of 9.750 contributed to the team bar score of 48.350. Senior Meg Ryan made her appearance of the day on bars, sticking her dismount and finishing close behind Baldovino with a 9.725, earning fourth place. Sophomores Jade Buford and Emma Firmstone began their all-around competitions with scores of 9.725 and 9.000. Buford's 9.725 placed her in the top five out of all the schools. Junior Roxanne Trachtenberg also competed on the uneven bars, scoring 9.575. To finish off the lineup, junior Jessica Wang gave a solid performance to round out this event for the Bulldogs (9.575). Trachtenberg and Wang tied in the top 10.
The Bulldogs then rotated to balance beam which proved to be the second-best event of the day for Yale. The team's score of 48.950 is the second-highest score this season and places in the second spot in program history. Firmstone was the top scorer; she earned an impressive season high of 9.825 and finished in fourth place. Close behind was Buford, with a score of 9.800, earning a top five spot. Four Bulldogs posted a score of 9.775; this includes junior Kiarra Alleyne, Baldovino, first-year Charlotte Cooperman, and Wang. All six Yale gymnasts in line up scored a 9.775 or higher during this rotation, tying for seventh-place.
The third event of the evening was the floor exercise, which happened to be the Bulldogs best event of the meet (49.000). They earned the ninth-highest floor team score in program history. Firth started off with a strong hit routine posting a 9.825, tying her career- and season-high score, placing top three. Senior Sloane Smith performed second and did not disappoint, posting a gorgeous routine of a 9.750. Alleyne continued the momentum in the third spot, tying Firth's 9.825, also placing third. Underclassmen continued to have strong performances, with Firmstone and Buford scoring a pair of 9.800's, tying for sixth-place. Baldovino finished her last event with a no-fall routine earning a 9.750.
The final rotation for the Bulldogs, vault exercise, ended the meet on a strong note (48.350). This team vault score places tenth in program history, marking this the fifth vault score out of ten that this 2018 team holds. To start off the lineup, sophomore Anna Jennings posted a 9.600 performing a yurchenko full. Firmstone followed with a solid vault of a 9.500. Buford continued her all-around performance with a front entry vault (9.525). Firth performed a yurchenko full receiving a 9.725, giving her another score of 9.700 or higher this season. She took third-place on this event. First-year Jacey Baldovino earned the top spot for the Bulldogs and a new career-high of 9.800. The rookie took first-place on the event and holds the seventh highest score in program history. Sophomore Rebecca Chong finished off the lineup earning an impressive score of 9.700, placing in the top five overall.
Baldovino, Buford and Firmstone were the three all-arounders for the Bulldogs. Baldovino took home another first-place all-around title with a score of 39.075. Buford put up an impressive 38.850, earning fourth. Firmstone ended with a 38.125, placing sixth.
The Bulldogs will look to build off the great successes of this weekend as they gear up for the ECAC Championships next week. Preview and details of the championship meet will be posted early next week.
report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity