While uncharacteristic mistakes on the uneven bars and balance beam hindered the gymnastics team’s run for the Ivy Classic title, the Bears still recorded their second highest score of the season with a 192.975 at the Pizzitola Sports Center Sunday. Yale posted a 195.025 to capture the crown, followed by Cornell and Penn, respectively.
2018 marks the first time Brown hosted the Classic since Bruno won the trophy at home in 2014. Though the Bears weren’t able to duplicate the feat Sunday, seven gymnasts were awarded All-Ivy Classic Honors.
Julia Green ’19 received First Team recognition on vault and Second Team on floor. Anya Barca-Hall ’18 earned First Team honors on floor while Regan Butchness ’18 claimed First Team accolades on balance beam. Gabrielle Hechtman ’19 and Alyssa Gardner ’21 nabbed Second Team on vault and Anya Olson ’18 and co-captain Claire Ryan ’18 finished with Second Team laurels on bars.
In addition to the All-Ivy Honors, Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne noted positive elements of the team’s overall performance.
“They performed probably the best that they have all season in some areas, especially on floor and vault, and that’s all we can ask of them,” Carver-Milne said.
The Bears opened the competition with their strongest event, the uneven bars. But against Ivy rivals, nerves crept into the lineup, resulting in multiple errors.
“It’s a very, very intense, competitive meet,” Carver-Milne said, adding that “the team handled the pressure really well throughout.” Though she noted the team’s final score was hurt by a few early mistakes, the team responded to errors well and came back strong.
After a shaky lead-off performance, Caroline Warren ’21 posted a 9.500 in the second spot to get Brown back on track. Ryan and Olson added a pair of 9.750s in the middle of the lineup, and Emma Hansen ’21 capped off a unique routine with a stuck double back tuck dismount to earn a 9.675.
Though bars is usually the Bears’ strongest event, “I think they got a little bit ahead of themselves, just a little too into the moment and the excitement of it being Ivies,” Carver-Milne said.
The Bears shook off their extra excitement quickly as they took to the beam for their second rotation. Ryan gave her team a solid 9.575 to build on, and Green followed with a 9.525. Cassidy Jung ’19 demonstrated unshakeable composure in the third spot, earning a 9.625 for her stellar leaps and a flawless back handspring step-out layout step-out series. Later, Hansen nailed an identical acro series for a 9.575. In the anchor spot, Butchness left little room for deduction as she stuck her side aerial to full-twisting layout dismount perfectly, notching a 9.775 and finishing in third place overall.
Halfway through the competition, Bruno trailed third place by 0.75 and had little to lose going into floor.
“We just tried to focus on each other, focus on ourselves,” Barca-Hall said. “We knew we couldn’t control scoring. We couldn’t control what other teams were doing. We could only control what we were doing.”
The Bears put on a show in the third rotation as all six gymnasts in the floor lineup scored 9.650 or better to achieve a season-high 48.850. Hansen hit her third routine of the night to earn a career-best 9.725, and Diana Manzano ’20 contributed to the team total by tying Hansen’s score to up her own career-high. A sky-high double back pike earned Green a personal-best 9.825, and Barca-Hall closed out the event with a 9.875 to raise her career-high and claim second place.
In its final event of the Classic, Brown notched a season-high 48.225. Green led the team on vault with a career-best 9.775 and finished in second overall. Anne Christman ’20 earned a 9.575 in the leadoff spot, and Gardner and Hechtman supported with twin 9.675s to bring up the final 192.975.
“It wasn’t our best, but it’s kind of motivating because we know that we still had some really great scores today,” Barca-Hall said. She added that with recent experience in high-stakes competition, she knows the team can compete under pressure.”We’re just waiting to show it, and we have some good opportunities to prove it at ECACs and at some of the meets coming up.”
The Bears will stay at home as they host the University of Bridgeport, the College at Brockport and Southern Connecticut State University Sunday. The quad meet is Brown’s final home competition of the season and will begin at 1 p.m.