eschickler@bcnnew.com

Injuries played a role in the Staples gymnastics team's 120.2-119.65 home loss to Greenwich last Thursday. Greenwich raised its record to 3-0. Staples dropped to 1-3.

"I'm definitely happy because we're stressed out and they had a lot on their minds," said Lady Wreckers Coach Melissa Zigmont. "I'm definitely proud of them. Today, we went for personal bests because we didn't have our full lineup, but next Thursday [tomorrow at Wilton at 4 p.m], we'll be coming out of the box."

Junior assistant captain Zoe Heller, who competed on only the uneven bars and balance beam because of her back, was one key injury for Staples. In the first meet, Heller scored an 8.25 on vault and last year, she consistently scored in the 8s on floor exercise. It's easy to surmise that if she competed on vault and floor and performed like she normally does, she would have added .8 to the Lady Wreckers on vault and 1.5 at minimum on floor, which would have catapulted them to victory at Weston Middle School (their home gym).

"I can't say for sure but I hope so," replied Heller when asked if she would have scored the necessary points on vault and floor to put Staples over the top.

Heller did tally a 7.1 on beam and a 6.6 on bars.

"I tried not to think about my back, I went up there and I performed," said Heller. "I took it easy and I hope to be back next week [tomorrow, at full strength]."

Although junior assistant captain Kara Tricarico competed as an all-around, she did so despite an injured ankle, which she suffered two days earlier. Tricarico scored a 27 as an all-around (she scored a 28.4, Dec. 22, her first meet of the season).

"It's been hurting but I still wanted to compete for the team and I tried regardless," said Tricarico.

Tricarico scored an 8.15 on vault, a 6.85 on bars, a 5.5 on beam and a 6.5 on floor. She had an all-around score of 28.4 on Dec. 22 with a 7.2 on bars, 6.9 on floor and a 6.1 on beam.

"For some reason, I get good scores on vault," said Tricarico. "I guess it's my strongest event."

Lady Wrecker senior captain Emma Vaimberg had the top all-around score (33.9) and her highest tally of the season.

"I was really happy with my performance as well as the team's [performance]," said Vaimberg. "I was really relaxed and I wasn't stressed out about getting a high score. I focused on having personal bests."

Vaimberg was the top overall gymnast in three events and in the fourth, she was second overall and led Staples. She began by winning vault with an 8.55.

"I was concerned on staying tight and going for the stuck landing," said Vaimberg.

She had her top score on beaminging home an 8.75.

"Focusing really hard on staying on the beam was key," said Vaimberg.

On floor (8.6), she showed poise when sticking her tumbling passes and jumped high on them.

"Floor is my favorite event to compete in and I have fun doing it," said Vaimberg. "I don't think about my score. I have some new jumps in my routine."

Although Vaimberg didn't beat Greenwich's top girl on bars, she still did well on it and tallied an 8.0.

Sophomore Emily Fishman continues to improve and had an all-around score of 29.7. Fishman was graceful on floor (7.7) and stuck her tumbling passes while showing strong dance moves. She was also strong on vault (7.7), beam (7.5) and bars (6.8).

The Lady Wreckers had their highest score on vault (31.85), followed by beam (29.85), floor (29.7) and bars (28.25).

Sophomores Morgan Cravenho (7.45 on vault, 6.5 on beam), Michelle Elsas (7.3 on vault 5.2 on bars) and Katie Blumenthal (6.5 on floor, 4.2 on bars) also competed for Staples.

Overall, the Lady Wreckers weren't making excuses and were happy with their performance.

"I think we did well without them [Heller and Tricarico] but it would be nice to have them healthy," said Vaimberg. "We weren't worried about team scores and focused on individual scores."