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Ludlowe gymnastics tops Staples and Warde in local showdown

Updated 1:47 pm, Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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  • Staples high school's Eliza Donovan performing her routine on the balance beam during a gymnastic meet with Fairfield Ludlowe high school and Fairfield Warde high school held at Gymnastics & Cheer Academy, Fairfield, CT on Monday, January, 6th, 2014. Photo: Mark Conrad / Connecticut Post Freelance

    Staples high school's Eliza Donovan performing her routine on the balance beam during a gymnastic meet with Fairfield Ludlowe high school and Fairfield Warde high school held at Gymnastics & Cheer Academy, Fairfield, CT on Monday, January, 6th, 2014.

    Photo: Mark Conrad

 

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Gymnastics is one of the few sports where regular season records are almost completely ignored.

So when the Fairfield Ludlowe, Warde and Staples got together Monday night in their first FCIAC meet of the season, all three squads focused on individual improvement with an eye towards being at their best when the postseason rolls around.

The Falcons (130.55) defeated Staples (124.55) and Warde (123.45) at Gymnastics and Cheer Academy in Fairfield. Ludlowe improved to 2-0 on the season, while Staples moved to 4-1 and Warde 0-2.

"We did better on beam tonight than they did on Saturday," Falcons coach Kim Longobucco said, referring to the Pomperaug Invitational that Ludlowe placed second of 13 teams. "We have a lot of small improvements to work on but it's a very strong start for the beginning of the year."

Ludlowe's Perry Kindel, helped by a meet-high 9.0 on the vault, took top spot in the all-around (34.4) over Warde's Kathleen Pisciotta (33.1).

Nicole Huntsman scored 32.45 for the Falcons, including an 8.95 on the vault. Jess Feeney scored a 32.3 for Ludlowe. Tori Galatti had a 32.2 for the Mustangs.

"I think we did great," Warde assistant Rachel Gregorio said. "We started off the meet nice and strong. (The girls) got through their routines well; they should be proud of themselves for this being our first meet of the season."

Anna Violette (31.7) and Deanna Baris (31.25) led the way for the Wreckers, who placed sixth at the Pomperaug Invitational. Due to the Christmas break and recent weather, little practice was an issue for all three schools.

"I thought we did very well today," Wreckers coach Kelsey Martin said. "Coming off of no practice because of the snow, we came out pretty strong. Even though the scores might have shown it on beam we did a lot better, -- four of the six girls stayed on -- which is awesome because that's been our trouble spot."

Warde could have topped Staples if not for an injury to Sophia Mancini. The junior, who scored 23.55 in her first three events, took a fall in warm-ups for the floor event and was unable to compete.

"It's nice to have competition, the girls did great," Gregorio said. "(Mancini) got injured on the floor; our floor score might have been a little different."

Ludlowe is one of the favorites to claim the FCIAC crown next month and Longobucco believes her team is heading in the right direction after a consistent performances Monday.

"Last year we were second in FCIAC's and we hope to be there or better," Longobucco said. "This year we are way stronger at this point than we were last year."

For Warde and Staples, two teams looking to reach the elite of the conference, know where they have to improve in the coming weeks.

"I thought our bars and our floor were really clean, we just need to add difficulty for the end of the year," Martin said. "I think we can definitely improve by four or five points,"

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