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WINTER PREVIEW Staples gymnastics looking to 'improve each meet'

Updated 2:34 pm, Saturday, December 8, 2012

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  • Staples' gymnast Anna Violette competes on vault Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 during a meet with Newtown and Oxford at Weston Middle School. Photo: Autumn Driscoll / Connecticut Post
    Staples' gymnast Anna Violette competes on vault Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 during a meet with Newtown and Oxford at Weston Middle School. Photo: Autumn Driscoll

 

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WESTPORT -- The Staples High gymnastics team is again seeking a strong finish at both the FCIAC and state levels.

The Wreckers have three girls returning from last season and will also welcome four freshmen to this year's roster.

Juniors Anna Violette and Deanna Baris, as well as sophomore Andrea Mahieu are back to lead a team that placed sixth at the Class L state competition last season. Violette competed in the balance beam, floor exercise and all-around events at the State Open last year and will now be asked to specialize in the all-around alongside Baris and Mahieu.

Kelsey Martin, who is in her third year as Staples' head coach, expects to see progress from the returning gymnasts this season.

"I hope to see a lot of growth and maturity from them. I hope they have been practicing and learned one new skill per event," Martin said in an email. "I also want to see this season more consistency during meets. I believe the more mature my team is, the better they do under pressure."

Martin said she also expects the team's freshmen--Sarah Benjamin, Sophia Stanley, Kacey Hertan and Jordan Bloom--to contribute this season.

"Four scores count (in a competition) and we have only three returning gymnasts. Over the first few weeks I have been trying to teach the freshmen what the requirements are," Martin said. "The skills that are required are the same as outside gymnastics competitions, however the combinations are different."

Martin said that Stanley will miss some time with an injury but will specialize in the all-around competition when she returns. Hertan will likely also compete in the all-around. Benjamin and Bloom have been working on the bars and floor routines.

Martin is optimistic about her roster and wants to see improvement.

"My goal for the season is to improve each meet," she said. "I want to finish in the top three in FCIACs and top four in the state."

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

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