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John Jay/Somers/Yorktown Gymnastic Team is already in Stride

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By Rich MonettiPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

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The start of any new season always means the old reliables graduate from the scene and holes are definitely left to fill. The John Jay, Somers and Yorktown gymnastics team is no different, but head coach Teodora Cepoi is seemlessly taking the losses suffered in stride. “We have other kids coming up to replace our graduates,” she said, and so far the results prove it is not simply a coach being optimistic about the prospects for the season.

First, the girls beat Lakeland, Panas by 4 tenths of a single point, and on Thursday December 7, the team defeated Suffern by a score of 176.15 - 123.55.

One of those new contributors for the team is Arianna Gulli. As such, the Yorktown gymnast felt best about her performance on the balance beam. “I stuck all my landings and didn’t fall,” she said with pride.

Good for a 7.5, Gulli had no problem settling for a 7.1 on the floor performance either. “My one and a half move was good and so was my tumbling,” said the freshman.

On the speaker system, the song Heart of Courage helped provide the necessary lift and soften the blows. “I really like that the tune is dramatic,” she said. “That kind of fits my personality.”

Kayla Cambareri, on the other hand, stood much more lighthearted on the floor with her Irish jig sounding song. “I like how action packed the music is and how the melody lets me show off my skills,” said the John Jay student.

That said, she scored an 8.85 on her floor routine. But the gymnast was most pleased with her (9.0) performance on the vault and the improvements she has made so far. “I landed more upright then I usually do,” said the sophomore. “Compared to what I did last year, I think my vault is getting there.”

The same sentiment seems true for Amelia Carozza's work on the balance beam. A 9.15 recorded on the sheet, she still had measured praise for the showing that she delivered. “I stepped all my skills, and I thought it was a clean routine,” said the Yorktown student.

Then on the floor, the gymnast doubled down for good measure. Another 9.15 to her credit, she felt her performance was also pretty unsoiled but fell short when gravity eventually took over. “I need to clean up and stick my landings better,” said the junior.

In the other direction, Kaitlin Gannon made the most of her springboard. “I executed very well today,” said the Somers student of her 8.05 on vault.

The sophomore still hopes to improve on her landing too, but her coach likes what she sees so far. “She’s clean and very graceful,” said Coach Cepoi.

The three time Romanian olympic medalist would know. A teammate of Nadia Comăneci in the 1976 game, the years have not slowed her passion for the sport of gymnastics. “I’m still ready to go,” her eyes put a concluding exclamation point on another day for herself and the girls.

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Rich Monetti

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