Darien gymnasts claim sixth place in FCIAC championship meet
STAMFORD -- Wilton High School has been the program to set the standard of late in FCIAC girls gymnastics.
The Warriors added the 2013 FCIAC championship trophy -- their third in a row -- to their collection Saturday by outlasting eight other schools for the team title at Westhill High's gym.
"In the other years, we had Chelsea Levander winning most of the events and leading the way," Wilton coach Gary Chadwick said. "Today we needed kids to step up. Depth is what carried us to this title."
Indeed. All eight Wilton gymnasts scored in at least one event as the Warriors finished with 134.8 points to edge Fairfield Ludlowe (133.350) and Trumbull (129.5). Staples (129.150) was fourth followed by Fairfield Warde (127.750), Darien (119.400), Greenwich (108.450), Westhill (105.0) and New Canaan (86.850).
The key to Wilton's victory was sweeping second place through fifth place in the balance beam. Ashley Bascom (second), freshman Sam Farhi (third, 8.75, her lone event), Annie Saltarelli (fourth, 8.7) and Christina Brandt (fifth, 8.6) were the heroes.Brandt was the rock for Wilton placing second at 34.150 in the all-around with Bascom tying for sixth at 32.55.
"I have a sheet with 24 slots for the four events. We knew we had to be a true team this year," Chadwick said. "The goal now is to qualify as one of the top four teams at the State Open. I think we'll be fighting Daniel Hand and Southington for those last two spots."
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Fairfield Ludlowe gave Wilton all it could handle thanks in large measure to sophomore Perry Kindel.
Despite finding out this week that the pain she was feeling was a stress fracture in her back, Kindel was not to be denied FCIAC glory.
She is 2013 FCIAC champion in vault (9.1), beam (9.3), floor exercise (9.1) and all-around (35.5). Nicole Huntsman was second on bars and fourth in all-around for Ludlowe.
"I struggled on my first rotation on bars (tied for 5th, 8.0). Then I settled in," Kindel said. "FCIAC titles were what I wanted all regular season. I was going to fight through the pain to get them. I'm so happy for our team. To finish second this year after placing fourth last year is a big step. My plan right now is to pass on the state class meet next week, but compete in the State Open."
With its third-place finish, Trumbull and its freshman-dominated roster announced itself as a team of the future.
Tara Oliver paced the Eagles by winning on bars (8.6) and placing third in all-around (34.1).
"It's great. This medal means all the hard work all season paid off," Oliver said. "And the team finishing third means we could take first place in a year or two."
"I'm so proud of the girls. We're ranked No. 9 in the state and should do well in the state meets," Trumbull first-year head coach Celina Huber said. "We have so many freshmen on our eight gymnast roster. We have a strong foundation going forward."
Meanwhile, Greenwich is hopeful to qualify for the upcoming state meets. Rankings (top 24 teams in state qualify) will be released Wednesday.
"The girls did very well. They settled in and did a great job (seventh)," Greenwich head coach Sue Knight said. "It was a good meet for our seniors. A number of girls posted career best scores during the regular season. We'll see what happens on the state meets."
TEAM SCORES: 1, Wilton 134.8 points; 2, Fairfield Ludlowe 133.350; 3, Trumbull 129.500; 4, Staples 129.150; 5, Fairfield Warde 127.750; 6, Darien 119.4; 7, Greenwich 108.450; 8, Westhill 105.0; 9, New Canaan 86.850.
BARS: 1, Tara Oliver (Trum) 8.6; 2, Nicole Huntsman (Ludlowe) 8.55; 3, Kathleen Piscotta (Warde) 8.2; 4, Anna Violette (Stap) 8.1; 5, (tie) Ashley Bascom (Wilt) , Nicole Kirven (St. Joseph), Perry Kindel (Ludlowe), Annie Saltarelli (Wilt) 8.0; 9, Andrea Mahieu (Stap) 7.9.
BEAM: 1, Perry Kindel (Ludlowe) 9.3; 2, Ashley Bascom (Wilt) 9.1; 3, Sam Farhi (Wilt) 8.75; 4, Annie Saltarelli (Wilt) 8.7; 5, Christina Brandt (Wilt) 8.6; 6, Caitlyn Briganti (Trum) 8.5.
FLOOR EXERCISE: 1, Perry Kindel (Ludlowe) 9.1; 2, Christina Brandt (Wilt) 8.85; 3, (tie) Annie Saltarelli (Wilt), Deanna Baris (Stap) 8.8; 5, (tie) Kathleen Piscotta (Warde), Payton Piedmont (Wilt), Anne Moeder (Ludlowe) 8.75; 8, (tie) Tara Oliver (Trum), Nicole Huntsman (Ludlowe) 8.6.
ALL-AROUND: 1, Perry Kindel (Ludlowe) 35.5; 2, Christina Brandt (Wilton) 34.150; 3, Tara Oliver (Trumbull) 34.1; 4, Nicole Huntsman (Ludlowe) 33.3; 5, Kathleen Piscotta (Warde) 32.850; 6, (tie) Ashley Bascom (Wilt), Anna Violette (Stap), Nicole Kirven (St. Joseph) 32.55.