March 28, 2008
For her performance at last weekend's competition against Brown, junior Lauren Tatsuno was selected ECAC Gymnast of the Week, her first such honor. Tatsuno turned in fantastic routines on each event she competes, vault, beam, and floor. On vault, she had a team-high 9.6 and won the event. Her beam routine was one of the best her coaches and teammates have ever seen, scoring a meet and career-high 9.8, also placing first. Her 9.675 on floor placed second.
This Saturday, Mar. 29, the Bulldogs will be competing in the ECAC Championships at the College of William & Mary. Yale is heading into the meet ranked fifth in the conference. Towson, ranked first, will be pursuing their fourth consecutive title. For the four seniors, this will be the last competition of their collegiate careers.
The highest starting value in Yale's vault line-up is a 9.8, so the team will be counting on clean landings to maximize their scores. Vault is generally a pretty consistent event for the Bulldogs and Tatsuno, Alina Liao, and Allison Mak can be depended on for solid runs.
While bars has proved to be the team's Achilles heel, the past two competitions have convinced the team that it can hit routines on the event in competition. Cynthia Leung leads off the line-up, and Liao's anchoring routine generally draws a high score. In between, Sherry Yang, Brigitte Kivisto, and Laura Lombardi have impressive routines.
When the Bulldogs reach beam, they're golden. Kristen Campbell opens up the event on a strong note and sets the tone for the rest of the team. Mak has a beautiful routine that has received standing ovations at several meets. Lombardi's clean lines are always an asset while Tatsuno, Kivisto, and Liao have proved to be nearly unshakable.
Floor is also a high scoring event for Yale. Heading into the meet, Liao is currently ranked fourth in the ECAC and Tatsuno is ninth. Kivisto has delivered consistently this season, and Campbell's powerful tumbling is always a delight to watch.
Yale's goal is to hit all twenty-four routines that are competed, and to improve on last year's sixth place finish. Liao is in contention to qualify for NCAA Regionals in the all-around for the third year in the row. The official order for the meet will be decided Friday evening. Competition starts at 12pm on Saturday.
Report filed by Cathy Jan '09, Yale Sports Publicity