Fairfield gymnastics teams raise performance levels
The Fairfield Ludlowe gymnastics team had a record-breaking day Monday.
Ludlowe scored a school-record 134.5 points on Senior Day in beating Staples (133.65) and Fairfield Warde (132.1) in its home gym, Gymnastics and Cheer Academy in Fairfield.
"It was pretty much a perfect night and my seniors deserved it more than anything," Falcons coach Kim Longobucco said. "The girls have been working hard since the end of November. Being in Fairfield [Ludlowe used to practice at the Lakewood YMCA in Trumbull] means less time on the bus and more time practicing and watching film. We watch a lot of film, which helps us learn and make corrections."
With the two wins, Ludlowe raised its record to 6-2, Staples is now 6-5 and the Mustangs dropped to 4-4.
This output couldn't have come at a better time because both Ludlowe and Warde scored a season-high and in the Mustangs' case, the 132.1 was their biggest output since at least 2005.
Staples was tops on vault with 33.5 points, beating Ludlowe (32.7) and the Mustangs (32.25), but it was third to the two Fairfield schools on the uneven bars (32.7) despite having one of its best performances there of the season. The Falcons had an unbeatable performance on bars (34.45) and Warde (33.3) would have ranked high on bars in most other meets.
Despite having too many falls on the balance beam, the Wreckers had the highest score (32.5) on it, beating Ludlowe (31.4) and Warde (31.1). The Falcons were remarkable on floor exercise (35.95) and were tops on it. All three teams were phenomenal on floor with Staples (34.95) edging Warde (34.45) on it.
Senior captain Dani Pasquarelli led Ludlowe with an all-around score of 34.5.
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"It was probably one of my best meets and I'm excited to stay on beam, which I haven't done all year," Pasquarelli said.
On beam, she led the Falcons with an 8.5.
"Last few practices, I focused on beam and worked with Kim on new tricks," Pasquarelli said.
Sophomore Annie Moeder and freshman Jordan Sweeney each scored a 7.7 on beam. Freshmen Cate Seymour (7.5) and Kelly Kochersperger (7.4) and senior captain Emma Sweet (6.7) also competed on beam. For Sweet, this was her last home meet ever.
"I was really trying to stay positive and stay on," Sweet said.
Pasquarelli was especially strong on floor (9.0).
"I had a new routine and worked hard to improve it," Pasquarelli said.
Seymour (9.05) led the team on floor and was followed by Pasquarelli, Sweeney (9.0), Moeder (8.9), Kochersperger (8.85) and freshman Charlotte Hill (8.6).
"I tried to stay positive, keep my head up and try my hardest," Sweeney said.
On bars, Pasquarelli (8.75) led the way, but the story of the event was freshman Perry Kindel (8.6) performing for the first time since suffering an injury. Going into the season, Kindel was expected to be one of the top gymnasts.
"I've been working on my routine, and I tried to clean things up," Pasquarelli said.
Ludlowe is pleased with how it closed out its home schedule.
"It's definitely bittersweet," Pasquarelli said. "I love everyone on the team and Kim helped me improve as a gymnast."
Sweet said, "I'm really proud of the team. In terms of the end of the end of the season, it's bittersweet. The four years on the team was rewarding, and I'm grateful for what it has given me."
Warde is also an upcoming team and was led by freshman Kathleen Piscotta (34.3), sophomore Tori Gallati (33.3), freshman Sophie Mancini (32.5) and sophomore Judith Klinga (30.3). Piscotta did her best on floor (9.1) and bars (8.8) and was solid on vault (8.4) and beam (8.0).
Gallati was also a standout on floor (9.05), was strong on vault (8.45) and held her own on bars (8.2) and beam (7.6). Mancini was consistent, scoring an 8.4 on vault, an 8.1 on floor and an 8.0 on bars and beam.
"It wasn't my best day, but I worked hard," Mancini said. "We did pretty well and worked as a team."
Senior captain Ji-Young Anderson scored 7.5s on beam and floor and junior captain Sarah Zeisler competed on floor (8.1) and beam (6.6). Sophomore Amy Nicholas performed well on bars (8.3) and vault (8.0). Juniors Molly Wilkinson (7.8) and Judy Thurston (6.3) competed on vault and bars, respectively.
"I'm really proud of how we did today and we had our best meet," Anderson said. "Kathleen especially did well. She worked hard the last couple of weeks, and I'm really proud of her. We want to do our best at FCIACs and states and we can only go up from here."