The Ridgewood Girls Gymnastics team won its first meet against Wayne Hills on Thursday, September 17. This was just the first of many intense meetings the team will face this season. The beginning of the season entails individual meets against one other team, and later in the season, there are up to seven teams at meets. As a whole, the team wants to beat Ramapo, a goal they have been striving for in the past several years.
The RGG preseason began with one week of conditioning before gymnastics officially began. “It consisted of a myriad of ab and leg workouts, endurance training so we could prepare for our actual season, and running”, said senior captain, Kerry Callaghan. A typical practice starts off with sprints around the floor, before the team circles up. They then stretch for approximately 15 minutes to prevent injuries. The team then splits up into four groups by vault settings, and each group go to an event (bars, floor, beam, or vault). The groups spend about 30 mins on each event, practicing skills, showing routines to coaches (Karen Mendez, David Stahl) before moving on to next event. To close the practice, the team ices and stretches. The strenuous practices prepare the team for tough competition.
The most vital meets this season will be against Ramapo, which has consistently been ranked top 10 in the state, Sectionals, Leagues, Counties, and any meets qualified for states. According to senior captain, Kerry Callaghan, the team as a whole can work on competing on bars. Overall, RGG consistently excels on floor and beam. Callaghan is particularly successful on vault, along with junior, Tara Saglimbeni.
Callaghan and Saglimbeni have been part of RGG for their entire high school careers’. Callaghan says her favorite part of gymnastics is “getting to know a lot of different types of people on the team”, and Saglimbeni says she enjoys “really getting to know each other well, since we are such a small team, and becoming such a close knit group of girls. Callaghan has been competitively practicing gymnastics since age seven, and enjoys competing on beam. Saglimbeni, since age thirteen, and favors fault and floor.
The team captains of the 2015 RGG season are junior Mika Tamura, and seniors Teighan Shore and Kerry Callaghan. The strongest members on the team include, Katherine Muccio (freshman), Victoria Purritano (freshman), Nicole Lester (sophomore), Nicole Kaplun (sophomore), Nina Nardone (sophomore), Mika Tamura (junior), and Kerry Callaghan (senior, captain). As a team, RGG is capable of beating Ramapo, and qualifying as a team for states again. With a long season ahead, Ridgewood Girls Gymnastics is eager to succeed.
Photo courtesy of Teighan Shore