By David F. Pendrys
(Sources: Troester for Yale, SCSU, RIC, UB Athletics for UB)
NEW HAVEN, CT- In a meet celebrating the life of the late Don Tonry, the Yale Bulldogs hosted the Bridgeport Purple Knights, Rhode Island College Anchorwomen, and Southern Connecticut State Owls on Saturday afternoon.
Bridgeport won the meet racking up193.450 as the home Bulldogs placed second thanks to a 191.375. Southern Connecticut’s 190.825 was good enough for third and Division 3 Rhode Island College picked up a 176.6 on the day. UB would win 3 out of 4 events, but Yale outscored them on Bars. SCSU for their part would outscore Yale on Vault and Floor during the course of the day.
Individually Bridgeport senior Sasha Tsikhanovich won the All Around with her 38.9, and outscored everyone on Beam and Floor earning a 9.9 and 9.85. Her teammate Kimberly Stewart took Vault landing a 9.9. Yale’s Morgan Traina earned the top place on Bars swinging to a 9.75.
The Purple Knights put their score together including a 48.775 on the Beam as the treacherous apparatus was their best event. In addition to Tsikhanovich’s performance, Brianna Comport nailed a 9.8, Rachel DiCarlo hit a 9.725 and Hope Tralli picked up a 9.7 for the team’s top four.
With a 48.65 the reigning USAG champs were nearly as successful on Floor. Comport’s 9.8 was second to Tsikhanovich’s high scoring routine. Randi Cutolo and Caitlin Perry each had 9.75s to bolster the rotation. UB’s Vault tally of 48.475 was led by Stewart as well as newcomer Kelsey Campbell’s 9.7. Despite sharing their initials with the event, Bars was the weakest event of the day as the purple and white obtained a 47.550. Amber Hill earned the best team score of 9.675 and Tsikhanovich contributed a 9.625.
Yale’s included a 48.325 on Bars, 48.125 on Beam, 47.55 on Vault, and a 47.375 on Floor. Freshman Anna Merkuryev paced the team on Vault with a 9.575 as her fellow gymnasts Camilla Opperman and Joyce Li flew to 9.525s as well for a stable top 3. Aside from Traina’s Bars win, Tatiana Winkelman scored a 9.675 and Merkuryev a 9.65. Plus first year arrival Allison Bushman and Li added 9.625s to give Yale a top sturdy top 5.
On Beam, Brittney Sooksengdao led the team, successfully navigating to a 9.75. Li secured a 9.7 as Anella Anderson and Merkuryev added 9.55s to the a solid rotation. Floor, despite being a way to finish with a high scoring flourish was the lowest scoring event of the afternoon. Nonetheless, Opperman led the way with a 9.625, Bushman added a 9.525. In the All Around the senior Li earned a 38.225 and the rookie Merkuryev achieved a 37.8.
For Southern, Vault was their best event of the day with a 48.3 led by senior Jenny Kaufman sticking her landing for a 9.85. Nicole Pruchnik’s 9.675 and Meghan Cole’s 9.625 gave the blue and white a good top 3. On Floor, the Owls performances resulted in a 48.2. Pruchnik’s 9.775 was tops among her team, Chelcie Rosborough gained a 9.75 and Alexandra Avendano a 9.65. On Beam a 47.7 came their way thanks in part to Rosborough and Avendano’s solid 9.65. Despite a lower scoring Bars rotation of 46.625, Rachel de la Torre anchored the team’s effort with her 9.7. Sophomore Christine Volz 9.575’s was Southern’s second best performance on the uneven’s.
Vault was the best event for the lone non Connecticut team as RIC flipped to a 46.05. Connecticut’s own Emma Hartan led the way blasting to a 9.425. On Floor the result was a 44.125 as, another nutmegger, Sammie LeMire notched a 9.4 for first among Anchorwomen. Over on the Beam the maroon, gold, and black came away with a 43.475 led by Meghan French, also from CT, and her 9.3. Finally on Bars the team posted a 42.95 as Courtney Osborn’s 9.050 was their top scorer and another Connecticut contribution to RIC. LeMire also finished the day with a 35.775 in the all around and teammate Emily Murphy had a 33.4.
Don Tonry, in addition to being the husband of Yale Coach Barbara Tonry helped found both Yale Gymnastics programs and coached the Men’s team. More on him can be found from Yale.
Next week Yale welcomes in Springfield College. Next week Bridgeport and RIC are both off to West Chester University of Pennsylvania where WCU and Ursinus College await them. SCSU takes on Ithaca, Brockport, and Cornell at Cornell.