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Falcons soar: Ludlowe wins 3rd straight FCIAC cheerleading crown

Updated 12:34 pm, Monday, February 4, 2013

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  • Westhill's Callie Rozsa, left, and Emily Fitzpatrick celebrate after completing their routine during the FCIAC cheerleading championships Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll / Connecticut Post
    Westhill's Callie Rozsa, left, and Emily Fitzpatrick celebrate after completing their routine during the FCIAC cheerleading championships Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll

 

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Its latest triumph was arguably its toughest yet, as the Falcons had to compete without one of their top performers, who got injured less than 24 hours prior to the event.

Despite the setback, the Falcons captured their third FCIAC crown in four years, posting a score of 156.1 to comfortably beat out St. Joseph (145.7) on Saturday in front of a jam-packed gym at Fairfeld Warde High School.

"My girls are extremely driven and extremely close," Ludlowe coach Ashley Carolan said. "This group of seniors is my first set of graduates. They started here with me four years ago and they are leaving with the FCIAC trophy."

Mary Kate O'Brien sprained her ankle during one of the Falcons' final practices before the main event Friday night, a blow that failed to derail their hopes at the title.

"This is the best feeling I've ever had," O'Brien said. "Last night when it happened I was so upset, I cried all night. I didn't know what my team would do; they had to revamp the routine but they fought through. I was not surprised though, I knew they could so it."

Greenwich posted an impressive score of 145.3 to finish third, narrowly missing out on the runner-up spot while proving the Cardinals can compete with the top teams in the conference.

"I was so impressed," Greenwich coach MaryAnne Catalano said. "We had some struggles and some injuries, to come home third is amazing. The top three were neck and neck so for states anyone can win it. I'm so excited for the girls."

Catalano was also named FCIAC coach of the year, an award that has eluded the 11th year coach until Saturday.

"It's such an honor," Catalano said. "I never expected it. I've never won it before so to get it after 11 years is amazing."

The teams were judged on overall routine choreography, stunts, jumps, pyramids and tumbling. Each squad had just two minutes and 30 seconds to impress the judges, an unusually short amount of time given the months of preparation that goes into the routines.

"It's torture," Catalano said. "It's really hard. We start our routines in September. I'm very lucky because Greenwich High gives us the gym space to perform at this level. It's the strangest sport: we work from September to February for two minutes and 30 seconds."

The team's support of one another was second only to the noise generated by the boisterous crowd, creating an atmosphere that fit the spectacle of the event. Trinity Catholic began the competition, one of 15 squads that demonstrated their efforts Saturday."

The FCIAC also announced its all-conference team during the awards ceremony. GHS was represented by Mary Andrews and Taylor Ingram.

Both Stamford and Westhill had All-FCIAC selections as well. Jolie Nash, Emily Fitzpatrick for the Vikings and Sarah Abruzzini, Dayna Mynarski and Chrishima Richards represented the Black Knights. Mynarski was recognized for being the lone performer to record a perfect score on facial expression, voices and showmanship.

Warde came home fourth among all-girls teams, while Danbury rounded out the top five. Trumbull was named co-ed champions, beating out McMahon and Stamford.

Ludlowe (33.5) also placed first in the partner stunt, an event that occurred on Thursday, defeating St. Joeseph and Warde (27.5). McMahon took home the Co-ed spirit award while St. Jospeh won the all-girls spirit award.

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