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Bulldogs Travel to Penn to Defend Ivy Title

Photo by Alice Oh
Photo by Alice Oh

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale gymnastics team will be back in action at the Ivy Classic Sunday at 1 p.m., following a win against Ivy rival Brown. With 15 Ivy Classic titles under their belt, the Yale gymnasts will attempt to keep making history when they compete inside the Palestra in Philadelphia.  

"This competition will come down to the most consistent and confident team who hits the most routines on all four events. One or two outstanding routines will not cut it. Though it will be an incredibly competitive meet, I have confidence the team is prepared to defend their Ivy title. The whole team knows to put forth their best energy and effort," said head coach Barbara Tonry.

The Bulldogs have broken 12 records this year and aim to add more to the history books this weekend. The records include five individual with seven additional team line-up records for separate events. The Bulldogs' highest score this season is a 194.125, and they hope to surpass that team score this weekend.

Brown is coming off a loss against the Bulldogs, 193.775 to 191.950. Last weekend, the Cornell gymnastics team earned a 193.075, taking fourth against Pittsburgh (195.100), Utah State (196.075) and WVU (195.575). In their annual "Rumble and Tumble" gymnastics competition, the Quakers of Penn posted a win against William and Mary 193.025-192.850 at the Palestra.

According to NCAA rankings, Brown sits at No. 65 with an average team score of 190.961, while Cornell is No. 58 with a team average of 192.138. The Quakers of Penn sit in No. 57 with a 192.292 average. Right behind Ball State, the Bulldogs hold No. 46, posting a team average of 193.779. There is more than a one-point difference between Yale and the other Ivies. The top eight teams in the USAG Division will earn a spot at USAG Collegiate Nationals. Currently, Cornell and Yale are eyeing spots at Nationals. The Bulldogs head into this weekend confident.

The Ivy showdown will give the Bulldogs a chance to compete against familiar competition in preparation for the rest of their season, including ECAC Championships. Yale hopes to bring its successes from the meet against Brown to Penn. With only four weeks before ECACs, this is a great opportunity for the Bulldogs to compete on a large stage.

In addition to their win last weekend, the Bulldogs achieved many season- and career-high scores. Senior Jessica Wang earned a career-high vault score of a 9.675 as well as a new record of a 9.875 on the uneven bars, placing her 10th in the record books. First-year Kendal Toy was a standout, very fittingly earning an uneven bars career-high score of 9.725. Sophomore Charlotte Cooperman followed Toy with another career-high on floor of a 9.800.

"Meet after meet, our team is getting stronger and more confident. I'm so excited for the energy we're going to bring to Ivy's this weekend," said junior Sofia Menemenlis.

Look out for the dynamic duo of Wang and first year Lindsay Chia on bars and beam as they have both registered a 9.900 on those events. Expect high energy from Captain Kiarra Alleyne and junior Rebecca Chong on the floor exercise. These two have been consistent the entirety of this season on this event.

The meet is set to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday. It will be live-streamed on the ESPN+ here.


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report by Anna Jennings '20, Yale Sports Publicity