Staples gymnastics displaying all-around improvement
WESTPORT -- Just three meets into the season, the Staples High gymnastics team has already shown steady improvement.
After opening the year scoring 119 points in a meet with Greenwich and Weston, Staples refined some of its techniques in the all-around and saw its point totals climb, ever so slightly. The Wreckers scored 120 points in the Pomperaug Invitational and 128 against Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde to follow.
Third-year coach Kelsey Martin believes that her team has more improvements to make, but she's pleased with the progress she's seen.
"I'm definitely happy about that," said Martin, referring to the increasing point totals. "I told the girls that we had a goal for each meet. `We're just going to improve every competition.' Obviously, we have."
In the competition against the two Fairfield schools on Jan. 10, in which Ludlowe scored a 132.6 and Warde a 129.05, Staples was again led by its core group. Violette recorded a 32.650 in the all-around (first on the vault, 8.5), Mahieu scored a 32.300 and Barris had a 31.600 (first on the floor, 8.9).
"One time Anna has the highest all-around, the next time Andrea does and the next time Deanna," Martin said. "They go back and forth, the three of them. They're our most solid competitors."
The Wreckers' roster also includes four freshmen, one of whom -- Sophia Stanley -- has missed time this season with a foot injury. Kacey Hertan, Sarah Benjamin and Jordan Bloom have also been competing in the all-around in Stanley's absence.
Martin credited her gymnasts' ability to handle the all-around, which features the bars, beam, floor and vault events.
"All of our girls do all of the events, which is very rare for a team," she said.
Beginning with Thursday's competition against Greenwich, the Wreckers have four more meets before the FCIAC championship on Feb. 9.
While Martin noted that her team has progress to make, especially on the beam, she said, she applauded her returnees for their leadership.
"They have really taken (the freshmen) under their wing and kind of helped them," Martin said. "Since I don't have an assistant coach, we've all been helping make routines ... and kind of making the freshmen feel more comfortable, and not nervous to compete."
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