Alina Liao Wins Ivy Classic

Feb. 28, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In the 33rd edition of the Ivy Classic Gymnastics Championship, Alina Liao put together another stunning performance to win the all-around, a title that she has received three out of her four years at Yale. She also defended her status as beam champion. The team competition was won by Cornell, and Yale placed fourth with a 185.200.

Margaret Greenberg opened up the competition for Yale on bars, scoring a 7.95. She was followed by Sarah Hughes, who caught her Tkatchev release move for one of her best routines this season, earning a 9.15. Claude De Jocas then competed her routine of many piked circular moves for an 8.65. Allison Mak had a beautiful routine, showing off her long lines for a career high 9.55, which earned her sixth place. Liao ended the event with a 9.7, for third place.

Moving to the beam, Hughes had a nearly flawless routine for a career high 9.375. Yang and Brigitte Kivisto fell on their series, earning a 9.175 and 8.975 respectively. Mak performed her best routine in several weeks, scoring a 9.625 for third place. Liao was wobble-free and earned a 9.775 to win the event.

On the floor, Mak started off by competing her double pike, a skill she only performed for the first time last weekend. She earned a 9.2. Yang put her hands down on her first tumbling pass, an automatic 0.5 deduction, but still scored a 9.125. Hughes had a beautiful double back and earned a 9.4. Kivisto, who took a few weeks off the event due to injury, came back in full force with powerful tumbling to earn a 9.725 and second place. Liao stepped out of bounds on one of her tumbling passes which is an automatic 0.1 deduction, but made her entire routine look effortless, scoring a 9.7.

Yale had a good set of vaults to end the meet. Micaline Tomeo competed a tuck Tsukahara, scoring a 8.95. Yang and Hughes went for the pike Yurchenko, earning a 9.225 and 8.875, respectively. Mak and Liao performed layout Yurchenkos. Mak scored a 9.525 for sixth place, just edged out by Liao's 9.55 for fifth place.

Cornell defended their team title with a 190.800. Brown came in second (188.400), just over a point ahead of Penn (187.325).

"Overall, it was a good day for us," said head coach Barbara Tonry, referring to the fact that Yale was able to put up a team score for the first time in three weekends. "They had tons of heart and just kept going."

Penn's Jordan Brewer was the runner-up in the all-around, scoring a 38.075. Mak placed third with a career high 37.9. Hughes also had a career high by over two points, with a 36.8, which earned sixth place.

"Alina works so hard in practice every day and I'm so pleased that she won again, It was great to see Allison and Sarah on the medal stand as well," added Tonry.

Next Saturday, Yale travels to Towson, the reigning ECAC champions. Competition starts at 7:00 p.m.

Report filed by Cathy Jan '09, Yale Sports Publicity