Gymnastics team looks ahead

With gymnastics teams throughout the FCIAC boasting rosters of around 20 athletes, Staples competes with a mere 12. The goal is to perfect four different events that are showcased throughout competition season. These are the girls who make up the small, but strong and determined girls’ gymnastics team.

Competition season is in full swing as the girls have already competed at FCIACs and are preparing for Sates this weekend, which will take place on Saturday, March 1 at Pomperaug High School.

Similar to track and field, gymnastics includes four main events: floor, balance beam, bars, and vault. These four events require the mastering of many strenuous skills such as, strength, flexibility, balance, and speed. “Our skills have improved and the way we execute our routines has become better as the season has progressed,” captain Anna Violette ’14 said.

Last year, with only six girls on the team, each gymnast had to participate in all four events. “This year we had more than enough girls and had people who specialized in certain events,” coach, Kelsey Martin said. This let the girls hone in on events specific to their particular strengths.

Captain, Deanna Baris ’14 was able to place individually at FCIACs on floor with a fourth place  score of 8.65. Baris also made First Team All FCIAC, while Violette and gymnasts Kacey Hertan ’16, Sophia Stanley ’16, Hannah       Rose ’17, and Andrea Mahieu ’15 all made Second Team. Additionally, Lexi Wetmore ’17 and Chandler O’Reardon ’17 both received honorable mentions.

“Every girl who competed in FCIACs received an award. This has never happened before, so that was exciting!” Martin said proudly.

Baris also commented on how hard her teammates are working, and how new skills have been achieved on almost every event this season. “They’re a great group of girls and I’m super proud of the progress everyone has made this year,” Baris said.

The team as a whole ended up coming in fifth place at FCIACs. According to Martin, the team was very successful in two and a half out of their four events, and showed significant improvement on both floor and vault.

The girls were unfortunate enough to face multiple snow days leading up to their biggest competition of the year, tightening the training schedule. Many also suffered from injury or were absent due to sickness. “We had very little practice the week before, so it was scary going into FCIACs with no preparation,” Violette said.

Despite all of these obstacles, the girls were able to keep their spirits up, and give their all on the spring floor, the bars, the four inch wide beam, and the vault. “Overall we did really well as a team,” Sophia Stanley ’16 said.

With the future in mind, the girls have no time to hang their heads.  States is coming up this Saturday, so it’s right back to the gym with the ultimate goal of improving on their most recent finish.