Girls Gymnastics is Off to an Inspiring Start

An update on the varsity girls’ gymnastics team and what they hope for the future.

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By Pedro Ezquer

The 2019-20 Felines are on track to be one of the most successful Stuyvesant gymnastics teams in years. Even though the team started off its season with a loss to division rivals Bronx Science, the Felines earned a score of 100.2 points that meet, an impressive feat that gave the team a lot of confidence heading into the rest of its season. At its following two meets, the team earned two consecutive wins against John F. Kennedy Campus. These meets are a good sign for the future, as the Felines’ ability to still win with obstacles such as multiple injuries and sickness could set them up for success when the team members overcome these issues.

The team has a lot of young members on the roster this season and is excited about the fresh energy and talent these new gymnasts will bring to practices and competitions. “During the past two meets against JFK, we’ve had the pleasure of having some new members of the team compete, as well as a few veterans who debuted floor routines,” said senior and co-captain Lianna Huang. “It’s also a pleasure to have the addition of freshman Ariana DeVito; she is a strong all-around gymnast, contributing to the team by scoring high in all events and inspiring us with her gymnastics experience.”

Thanks to the contributions of DeVito and other key members, such as freshman Isabella Jia and sophomore Helen Fred Zhu’s performance on the vault and junior Anya Zorin’s success as an all-arounder, the Felines have not scored below 90 points at any of their meets this far into the season. Much of its early success is due to the new strategies the Felines have been able to try with new gymnasts on the team such as Jia and Elizabeth Paperno. The captains usually rely more heavily on returners during the beginning of the season since the newer members have not gotten as much practice. “Our non-club new gymnasts usually don’t get to compete until our scrimmage against Saint Ann’s in January. We are very excited to be getting girls into competition earlier this year because practicing and competing are very different experiences, so it’s important to start new girls early,” senior and co-captain Camille Sadoff said. “But due to injuries, sickness, and simply not having ready routines, we’ve had a couple circumstances of going to meets short on competitors for some events.”

Even though the Felines are not completely satisfied with their 2-1 record, the team is in great shape to place amongst the top three teams in Division A for the first time in over a decade. “Our juniors are getting a lot of new skills, and I feel very confident in them carrying the team for team divisionals and finals,” senior and co-captain Lu Xi said. The team is in second place going into winter break behind Bronx Science, but with three more meets against both teams in the top three, anything is possible as the Felines hope to assert their status as a strong contender in the division. The Felines have all the pieces they need to put together a successful season, and are optimistic about how much each gymnast will be able to progress. This is particularly true because many of the team competitors are seniors so they will be graduating soon. “We’re looking forward to see how the best of our team measures up against those of other schools,” Huang said proudly.