The Gators reached for the Gold this month in their first gymnastics meet of the 2012 season.  It wasn’t the Florida Gators, though; it was the Garden Gators from Giant Gymnastics of Lafayette.  However, they did head to Florida, New York for Sports Fitness and Fun’s “Florida in February” USAIGC sanctioned gymnastics meet.  The event was an all day meet, with two sessions.  The girls on the Bronze team, including Kayla Komnath, Danielle Weiss, Vanessa Valentine, Kaitlin Peccia, Rebecca Rodriguez and Lia McAuliff, all competed in session one.  The Silver and younger Copper levels competed in the evening. The Silver team girls in attendance were Kelly Hurley and Christina Chernati.  The Copper team girls who attended included Morgyn Witt, Marguerite Bysshe, Amanda LiCausi, Tori Frisbee, Adelina Zahner, Riley D’Allesandro and Madison Doherty, and all between the ages of 8 and 11.

 Coaches John Skorski, Susan Bysshe and Carly Earl were there to support and cheer on the team throughout the day.  Skorski, also part owner of Giant Gymnastics, was especially proud of the team. “The girls did very well in their first big meet of the season.  It was a great opportunity for them to show off their new and improved skills.”  The meet was a large one, and with so many gymnasts, it can be an intimidating atmosphere.  “I was impressed with how the girls carried themselves- no tears, lots of smiles- particularly the younger ones that had the late session,” remarked Skorski. 

As a reward for their hard work, each time any of the gymnasts score a 9 or better, they join the “9.0 Club” at Giant Gymnastics. They get a large star on the wall of the gym with their name on it.  “This is to recognize the hard work and accomplishments in a meet setting where the pressure is greater than in practice,” explained Skorski.  “It is important to perform at their best in a competition setting in order for their score to reflect their hard work.”  The team at this meet scored a total of seventeen 9’s, so after just this meet the wall is already full of shining stars.  Looking forward to their next meet in March, the Garden Gators of Lafayette can see the fruits of the labor at each practice in the large blue and gold stars that hang on the wall.

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Owners of Giant Gymnastics, Jennifer Packard and John Skorski, started in June 2011 in their new Lafayette location (they have a location in Hackettstown for 5 years now).  Their USAIGC team has been practicing with Coaches Earl, Bysshe and Head Coach Skorski for 4 to 6 hours every week since June. “They’ve come a long way.  The girls’ hard work and positive attitudes in the gym have made my job coaching them a very rewarding one,” beamed Skorski.  “These girls really want to learn and it is that perseverance that will allow them to continue improving and experience success.”

For more information about Giant Gymnastics tumbling or gymnastics classes, private lessons, open gyms and clinics, Parents Night Out’s or birthday parties, please call 973-579-9400 or visit them online at

Silver age 13 to 19

Kelly Hurley of Sparta, Placed 4th on Balance Beam, 5th in Uneven Bars, and 7th All Around.

Christina Chernati of Stillwater, Placed 7th on Uneven Bars.

Bronze age 11

Kayla Komnath of Hardyston, 1st Place on Uneven bars, 4th place on Vault, 7th place on Balance Beam and 6th Place All Around.

Bronze age 12 and up

Kaitlin Peccia of Sparta , 5th Place on Vault,6th place on Balance Beam and Uneven Bars, 7th Place All Around.

Copper age 9 and up.

Adelina Zahner of Sparta, Placed 1st on Vault.

Marguerite Bysshe of Sparta, Placed 3rd on Balance Beam

Amanda LiCausi of Dingmans Ferry, PA, Placed 4th for her Floor routine and 7th on Vault.

Tori Frisbie of Stillwater, Placed 4th on Vault.