Varsity gymnastics seeks success in its upcoming season and looks to win conference

Eric Fishbin, Sports Editor

The gymnastics team will begin the 2013-2014 season on Dec. 11 on home turf, Sousa Elementary, against a Great Neck South team that beat the Vikings in the final meet of last season, forcing a 7-5 record.  It was the Vikings’ closest meet of the season, with a score of 142.85 to 141.65.

“Despite that rough loss last year, we really are just trying to focus on what is ahead of us.  It is great that we get an opportunity to avenge ourselves from last year, but we just want to focus on one meet at a time,” said junior Lauren Rudman.

Getting that first win might prove to be crucial for the Vikings motivation for the rest of the year.

“The team has done awesome in the past couple of years.  We all work together so well and it is always so much fun to be with the team.  Coach Patterson and I both expect the team to work hard and to be there for each other,” said senior Emily Perlman.

In a gymnastic meet there are four events that a team competes in: floor, beam, bars, and vaults.  Each of these events is scored by judges with scores out of a possible 10 points.  For each event, except for vaults, a routine must be choreographed prior to the meet.  For example, for the floor routine, the gymnast does a routine to a song of her own choice.

“We really enjoy our practices and have a lot of fun, but we do work hard. As a team, we want to achieve as much as we can.  Even if we don’t win a meet but get a higher overall score than the last one, we would still feel accomplished.  Our main goal is to improve individually, and also as a team,” said Rudman.

The team is currently placed in Conference II, along with Great Neck North, Great Neck South, South Side, Roslyn, Valley Stream Central, North Shore, Long Beach, Garden City, and Cold Spring Harbor.  The Vikings will mostly face teams in their conference, along with a few non-conference meets throughout the course of the season.

“It is really important for us to win the conference matches so we can be in the best position when playoff time come around.  Hopefully we can go as far as we can this season,” said Rudman.

Another perspective shown by the team is learning by mistakes, and improving for the meets in the future.

“If we end up winning the meet, we win, and that’s awesome, but if we lose, we just have to work harder to win the next meet,” said Perlman.

Although the scoring for gymnastics is cumulative, each event has great importance, and each individual works hard to improve herself, in order to contribute to the team as a whole.

“I hope to help my team win and also I want to become a better gymnast throughout the course of the season.  As for others on the team, Sam Hoffman and Eleni Kouvaras are both excellent, and of course it is always exciting to see what the new freshmen can bring to the table,” said Perlman.

As individuals, the girls are given the chance to qualify for both invitationals and states.  For invitationals, a gymnast can be invited if she has reached a certain individual score for the season.  If successful at invitationals, the gymnasts move along to compete in states.