Lady Wreckers place 6th at Class L
Just like most sports, "on any given day" is a cliche that applies to gymnastics.
This is a lesson that the Staples gymnastics team learned the hard way at the Class L championships Saturday at Pomperaug.
Fourth-seeded Staples finished sixth with 124.175 points, falling short to fourth-place Fairfield Ludlowe (127.325) and fifth-place Newtown (125.75), while beating seventh-place Trumbull (120.35). Glastonbury (142.25) won the eight-team meet.
"Beam was our nemesis, every girl had at least one fall on it," Lady Wreckers coach Kelsey Martin said. "We had one of our best performances on bars even though it didn't show in the score. Vault was solid. Except for beam, I was happy. I was hoping we'd have 22 clean routines out of 22 performances, but that didn't happen."
Staples' highest score was vault (32.725); followed by floor exercise (32.0), beam (31.6) and bars (27.85).
Health, or the lack thereof, also didn't help Staples. Senior captain Emily Fishman felt the effects of her ankles, knees and back injuries, and had to scratch herself from floor, thus the Lady Wreckers ended up performing 21 routines, instead of the 22 Martin was hoping for.
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"I wasn't feeling well," Fishman said. "I felt bad I never got to do floor, because I never got to do my final floor routine. I tried to work through them as much as I could."
Martin said, "All the girls had to perform well on floor because we didn't have a fallback score."
Fishman's highest score came on vault (7.9), followed by beam (7.65) and bars (6.35).
Sophomore Anna Violette was the Lady Wreckers' top all-around performer with a score of 31.65.
"We didn't have the usual week of practice [before the meet] because of vacation," Violette said. "Considering the circumstances, I tried my hardest."
Violette's highest score came on vault (8.35).
"Vault was our last event, and I was able to concentrate the most on it," Violette said. "I focused hard, and I was able to succeed."
Her next best score came on floor (8.25), was the team's top-performer on bars (7.55), and didn't have her best beam (7.5) routine.
"I was excited because floor is my favorite event," Violette said. "I went hard, and did the best I could."
Finishing close behind Violette was sophomore Deanna Baris (31.335). Baris was the team's top scorer in two events, and her highest output came on vault (8.475). by sticking a half on, half off, vault.
"There was a little more pressure, but I saw the judges before, and I've been to the Pomperaug gym before, and I was familiar with the equipment."
On floor (8.35), Baris led Staples. She added a wolf full, which increased the start value to her routine.
"I went out and had fun," Baris said. "I also had a new dance, and I wanted to try a new thing. I really wasn't that nervous, and I thought I'd do well."
Baris had the team's second-highest score on beam (7.95) and held her own on bars (6.55).
Freshman Andrea Mahieu had an all-around score of 30.95, and led the Lady Wreckers on beam (8.2). Mahieu's next best score was vault (7.85), followed by floor (7.65) and bars (7.25).
Sophomore Lindsay Kiedaisch (30.05) also competed as an all-arounder. Kiedaisch's top score came on vault (8.0); followed by beam (7.8), floor (7.75) and bars (6.5).
Senior Katie Blumenfeld competed on beam (6.2) and bars (5.5).
"It was a good learning experience for the four girls who are coming back next year," Martin said. "We didn't expect to place. We're looking forward to next week."
Fishman said, "We have no regrets, and the team did as best as it could. Overall, it was a good year. I got better, and the team got better. It was a great learning experience, and I'm happy with how it went."
For Violette, Fishman and Baris, the season isn't completely over. All three will compete at State Open this coming Saturday at New Milford. Violette will compete on beam and vault, while Fishman (beam) and Baris (floor) compete on one event.
"The week off will help me," Fishman said.
Violette said, "I'm honored to be at State Open, and I'll try to do the best I can for myself and Staples."