Feb. 25, 2007
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - Despite a season-high team score of 190.55, the Bulldogs placed third at the Ivy Classic, half of a tenth away from Ancient Eight rival Cornell's second place finish. Penn won the meet with a 191.55, while Brown got fourth place (186.975).
The Bulldogs started the competition on floor, normally one of Yale's highest scoring events. The gymnasts indeed pulled out high scores, with Alina Liao's 9.725, Suchitra Paul's 9.65, and Jessica Tai's 9.625. Liao ended up tying for fourth place, while Paul and Tai received 7th and 8th, respectively.
On the vault, the Bulldogs were back up to a six person line-up. The focus on landings in the past few weeks paid off, as five gymnasts placed in the top ten. Miki Seltzer led the way with a season-high 9.775 that earned her second place, just one tenth away from Brown's Alicia Sacramone, who placed second in the event at the 2006 World Championships in Denmark. Liao and Lauren Tatsuno tied for fifth place with scores of 9.65, with Brigitte Kivisto not far behind with a 9.625. Jessica Tai was 8th with a 9.55.
At the halfway point, Yale was in first place. The team was up to the challenge though, led by Kivisto's 8th place finish (9.55) and Cynthia Leung's season-high 9.475. Jessica Blick (9.45), Paul (9.425), and Laura Lombardi (9.4) also turned in solid performances as the extra bars work this season kicked in.
Heading into the final event, the meet was close. Beam usually is one of Yale's strongest events - but not today, as the Bulldogs were forced to count two falls. Since each fall is a 0.5 point deduction, a solid beam set would have been the difference between first and third place. Given the large amount of errors, the Bulldogs scored relatively high. Liao's 9.7 was a highlight. Though she placed fifth, it was also just half a tenth out of first place. Tatsuno added a 9.575 ninth place finish, and Campbell ended up in 12th with a 9.475.
"It was a very very close meet, and I think that set a few nerves in action by the time we got to beam. We just ran out of something, but I don't know what," said Yale head coach Barbara Tonry.
Liao finished the meet with a 38.15, third place in the all-around. Kivisto was fifth with a 37.85.
Sacramone swept all four events and won the all-around with a 39.25. On bars, Penn's Lizzie Lowe tied her with a 9.775, while fellow Quaker Marissa Rosen tied Sacramone on beam with a 9.75. Rosen's 38.925 all-around score placed second.
Looking forward, Tonry envisions Yale continuing to improve. "Considering where we were, we're a much improved team. We still have six more meets, so I think the kids will pick themselves up and get rid of the problems."
Next Saturday, March 3, will be Yale's last home meet of the season. The Bulldogs will be honoring the five seniors. Competition starts at 1 pm against Brown in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Report filed by Cathy Jan '09, Yale Sports Publicity