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Gymnastics Celebrates Record-Breaking Season at Team Banquet

Junior Jessica Wang
Junior Jessica Wang

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a record-breaking season that earned an Ivy Classic Championship and ECAC Championship, the Yale gymnastics team came together to honor and reveal the individual award winners inside the trophy room at Mory's Association. First-year Jacey Baldovino (Atherton, Calif.), sophomore Jade Buford (Coppell, Texas), senior Megan Ryan (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and junior Jessica Wang (Chino Hills, Calif.) won the Outstanding Contribution Award. The Bulldogs also recognized senior Captain Allison Bushman for her incredible leadership and effort leading to team to several achievements throughout the season.

Baldovino earned the first-year's Outstanding Contribution Award as well as was honored by the ECAC eight different times for weekly awards. She competed in 46/48 opportunities this competition year, holds seven individual records, won Don Tonry beam title (9.925) and all-around title (39.150), earned all-around career-high and title at home (39.250), won the Ivy Classic beam title, all-around runner-up Ivy classic title. Additionally, the ECAC Rookie of the Year took the Bridgeport all-around, bar and vault titles, qualifying to NCAA Regional as an all-arounder. She is a member of the ECAC All-Floor and Vault Second Team, ECAC All-Bars and Beam First Team and ECAC All-Around Team. At USAG Collegiate Nationals, Baldovino became National Bars Runner-up, First-Team All-American Bars and Second-Team All American Beam.

Baldovino is in Jonathan Edwards College at Yale and is a graduate of The Kings Academy. This first-year led the team to 45 broken records this 2017-18 season, which has never happened in Yale gymnastics history.  

After receiving 2016-17 ECAC Rookie of the Year Award, Buford earned 2017-18 ECAC Gymnast of the year and was honored as ECAC Gymnast of the Week twice. She is a two-time Ivy Classic All-Around Champion, posting an all-around career-high (39.225). Buford earned the floor Ivy Classic title as well as  a new vault career-high (9.800) and taking the title. At Maryland, Buford earned a bar career-high of 9.825 and on floor at ECAC's, she performed a near-perfect routine posting a 9.925. During post-season, she became ECAC All-around runner-up, NCAA Regional All-Around Qualifier, placed top 10 in NCAA All-around competition and acquired a spot as an ECAC Second team vault, bars, beam, floor and all-around member. She is also a First -Team All-American in the All-Around.

This was another amazing year for this sophomore. Buford is a history of science, medicine and public health major in Trumbull College. 

Ryan took a leadership role this season as a senior on the team, earning the Outstanding Leadership Award in the process. One of the team's most consistent bar workers, she always worked her way into the uneven bar lineup and produced outstanding scores to be counted for the overall team score. Ryan placed fourth at Don Tonry Invitational on bars (9.725), second-place on bars at Ivy Classic (9.850), fourth place on bars at Bridgeport (9.725) and won the ECAC bar title (9.800). Ryan earned ECAC Coaches Choice Honors and became a member of the ECAC Division I Women's Gymnastics All-Academic Team and ECAC Bars Second-team.

Ryan is a history of science, medicine and public health major and just recently accepted a job in New Jersey after she graduates. She graduated from Pine Creek High School.

After recovering and rehabbing from her Achilles tear in 2017, Wang came back motivated than ever to make her way to the competition floor. Wang not only rehabbed back, but made lineup and competed in every meet on bars and beam. She  scored over three 9.900s on bars, took the Don Tonry Invitational bar title , the Ivy Classic bar title (9.900) , the ECAC bar title (9.800) and qualified for NCAA Regional on bars and beam. She was named ECAC Specialist of the Week three times this season. Additionally, she is a member of the ECAC Division I Women's Gymnastics All-Academic Team, ECAC First-team bars and First-Team All-American Bars. After becoming USAG Collegiate National Beam Champion her freshman season, she looked to reach that potential her junior season as well. Wang did just that, qualifying to individual finals and then taking the uneven bar title at USAG Collegiate National Championships.

Wang is a pre-med, double major in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry in Jonathan Edwards College. She graduated from Ruben S Ayala School. She plans on attending medical school after her time at Yale.

The seniors and award winners all played key roles in a memorable season.

report by Anna Jennings 20 (anna.jennings@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity