Gymnastics team improves and salutes seniors

Sophomore Jenna Castle, who placed 3rd All Around against St. Thomas Aquinas, supports herself with locked wrists while performing on the bars.


            The gymnastics team finished the team competition season with a 1-7 record. Although they hoped for more victories, the one they earned proved timely, and they consistently improved their scores throughout the season.

            The team’s win on Senior Night against South Brunswick on September 29 served as a fitting farewell to seniors Jenna Conti, Sydney Nugent, and Alison Shulman. “We do not always have to have perfect routines, but we will always try our best at competitions,” said Conti, who placed 3rd All Around with a score of 28.8.

            In the Knight’s 92.7 – 87.15 victory, freshman Caela Jones placed 2nd All Around with a score of 28.95, and juniors Isabella Manfredi, Julia Sala, and Aly Esposito placed 1st in Bars, Beam, and Floor Exercise respectively.

            This season, the team has received an influx of freshman, including Jones, Charlize Green, Jordan Feldman, and Eliza Ziba. “The girls are really the most supportive people you will ever meet. You really do not know the definition of a team until you meet them,” shared Jones. “They made this experience so much better and more fun.”

Freshman, Caela Jones, who contributed 29 points to the team at the East Brunswick meet and 28.95 points against South Brunswick, showcases her flexibility.

            Regardless of the win-loss record, the team’s positive experiences, bonds, and growth make it count as a win. “Our season this year has not been one of our more successful ones, but the team has stuck together in classic Old Bridge fashion.” explained coach Michael Canzano, who also teaches physical education and health at Carl Sandburg Middle School.

            As a senior leader on a young team, Conti is not only excited to see how she improves individually, but also to see how the team improves when they set their minds to the game. “We really support each other and help one another with routines,” said Conti. “If someone is struggling, we try to spend extra time with them at practice, so they feel more confident going into the next competition.”

            That mindset helped the team develop throughout the season, improving their average team score from 88.7 over the first three meets to 91.3 over their last five and finishing with the best score of the season, 93.075, in their final meet. Manfredi explained, “Teamwork is extremely important when it comes to motivation and competing.”

            With many talented young gymnasts returning next year, the team will look to continue to build on this year’s growth.

Posted on 11/1/22

Photos by Tomi Komolafe

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