NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A 194.950 team score in last Friday's dual meet clinched Yale's second-highest team score this season and fourth-highest in Yale gymnastics history. The results of last weekend's meet gave the Bulldogs that much more motivation heading into this week's final meet of the regular season. Yale will travel to UC Davis and face 17th-ranked Washington, NCAA regional contender Illinois and host No. 38 UC Davis on Friday night at 7 p.m. Pacfiic time.
The Bulldogs arrive just three weeks removed from their second-consecutive Ivy Classic championship title. Yale has broken a total of 14 team records as well as nine individual records this season, landing the Bulldogs 51st in the NCAA rankings and second in the ECAC rankings with a team average of 194.092. This is the Bulldogs' highest team average in history. Additionally, UC Davis coach John Lavallee holds a unique link to the Yale gymnastics program: he served as an assistant for 47th-year head coach Barbara Tonry prior to his arrival at UC Davis in 2006-07.
Host UC Davis enters this weekend fresh off a 195.400 winning team score in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) gymnastics tri-meet hosted at the Pavilion last Friday night. The Aggies increased their national-qualifying score to a 195.215 – trailing Illinois by .010 for the all-important No. 36 slot. The No. 36 position is the threshold at which teams qualify to NCAA regionals. UC Davis hails first in the MPSF conference with a team average of 194.750.
The Illini posted season highs on beam (49.400) and floor (49.200) last Saturday inside Huff Hall to earn a team score of 196.075. They were edged by UIC, who scored a 196.150 at the State of Illinois Classic. Rounding out the meet was Northern Illinois (195.750) and Illinois State (195.075), who took third- and fourth-place. Illinois holds the No. 37 position in the national rankings with a team average of 194.865, just behind UC Davis. In the Big Ten conference, the Illini fall in eighth place, just behind Iowa by .200.
Washington most recently edged Southern Utah in a season-best performance, 196.200-196.000, in a dual meet. The GymDawgs are ranked 17th in the NCAA with a team average of 196.170. In the Pac-12 conference, Washington places fifth among stiff competition such as No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Utah.
Friday's meet will also serve as a tribute to the UC Davis senior class. UC Davis will honor each student-athlete and their families at the conclusion of the meet.
Report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity