Replacing All-State gymnast and 1,000-point scorer Kelly Geiling is the biggest challenge for the Fairfield Ludlowe gymnastics team.

Ludlowe will also miss Lindsay Phillips and Noelle Block-Lubin as well, but their moving on won't leave as big a void as Geiling's graduation.

Falcons Coach Kim Longobucco hopes to have many gymnasts share the load in filling the void. Last year, Ludlowe was 7-5, placed fourth at FCIACs and fifth at Class M and Longobucco hopes to improve on both finishes.

"The team is working well together, there's good leadership from the captains, who are helping out our freshmen," Longobucco said. "The goal is to improve our record from last year, do well at FCIACs and qualify for States."

Senior co-captain Sophie Tomeo and junior co-captain Dani Pasquarelli lead the Lady Falcons. Both are talented gymnasts who will compete as all-arounders and Pasquarelli qualified for State Open last year.

"We want Sophie and Dani to make State Open and do well there," Longobucco said.

Both captains are working hard in fine tuning their routines.

"I hope to add new tricks on floor and bars," Tomeo said.

She hopes to add a layout full twist on floor exercise and straddle cuts on the uneven bars.

Being coachable will also help the captains excel.

"I'll listen to my coaches because they know what they are talking about and I'll try to do well," Pasquarelli said.

Also returning from last year are junior Emma Sweet, who will compete on floor and on the balance beam. Sophomore Holly Eichrodt will be an all-arounder while classmates Genevieve McNamara and Bri Del Franco will compete on vault. McNamara will also do bars.

Freshman Ann Moeder is a very talented freshman according to Longobucco and will be an all-arounder. Ronit Mandlekern is the other freshman and the coach is confident Mandelkern will contribute.

"I'm pretty excited about the season," Tomeo said. "Although we lost some all-arounders, the freshmen will step up and help the team. We'll see how all the girls will do and we should have a good season."

Pasquarelli said, "I'm looking forward to a great season. We have some good new editions and we're looking good. We'll keep a positive attitude, support each other and we'll do well."

Ludlowe begins its season Jan. 4 at Wilton.

"We have to practice, work hard and make sure we're ready to go on Jan. 4," Longobucco said. "We'll have inhouse meets and be able to correct our mistakes from them."