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Garden Gators Shine at Igloo Invitational

Left to right: Katerina Hlywa, Meagan Ward, Ciara Pesilli-Hauser, Emily Rodriguez, Caroline Dietz and Morgyn Witt. Credits: Margaret Witt
Marguerite Bysshe, Riley D'Allesandro, Tori Frisbie, and Amanda LiCausi take 7th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd place on Balance Beam.
Left to right first row: Marguerite Bysshe, Riley D'Allesandro, Tori Frisbie, Danielle Weiss, Amanda LiCausi.  Back row: Kelly Hurley, Kayla Komnath, Rebecca Rodriguez, Kaitlin Peccia, Christina Chernati and Gianna Macones.
Copper squad members Caroline Dietz, Katerina Hlywa, and Meagan Ward accept their 6th, 5th and 4th place awards for Balance Beam.

Last weekend, the Lafayette Garden Gators took home numerous awards at their first meet of the USAIGC gymnastic season.  The meet was hosted by C.S. Gymnastics in Flanders, and is one of 2 meets the Gators will attend there this season.  Coaches Susan Bysshe, Carly Earl and Coach/co-owner John Skorski have been preparing the team for the 2013 season for months. “Over the summer, we went back to basics. Practice after practice we did basic skills, focusing on good form, over and over,” explained Bysshe.  “As it got closer to competition season, we took the basics and created routines.”  Each floor routine is designed for their gymnast by long time dancer, Earl, but with the music chosen by the gymnast.  The gymnasts gave input in the creation of both their floor and balance beam routines as well.   “It’s fun to let the kids have a say in their routines, so they are more comfortable with the movements and can remember them easier,” said Bysshe.

For several of the gymnasts, it was their first major competition experience.  Competing in the first of two sessions at this large meet, the Copper squad took home a 2nd Place Team Award along with all their individual awards. “The copper level is a beginner level of competition. Overall the Copper girls did a great job at their first official meet,” boasted Earl.  “It takes a lot for these young ladies to get out there and do their routines. Working with the copper level is a lot of fun- they truly love gymnastics and want to show off the skills they have been working on. At the meet you can tell they are nervous when they start asking all the "what if" questions, I tell them to take a deep breath and just have fun. I am happy to be a part of molding and shaping them into the gymnasts they will grow to become.”


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The second session was attended by both the Bronze and Silver squads from the Gators.  The Bronze squad also took home a 2nd Place Team Award, while the Silver girls took home a 3rd Place Team Award.  The Bronze and Silver gymnasts are more experienced, but all of them work hours each week, year round, to better themselves in their sport. “The kids have to want to be at practice. It is most important the kids are happy and having fun while at the gym. Most of our gymnasts come two days a week, with more and more adding the third day to better their skills, and to get stronger,” commented Bysshe.  “The commitment isn’t’ just with the gymnasts- it starts with the family. Gymnasts coming to practice three days a week takes time for parents also.  We only have one gymnast that can drive.”  Last weekend’s meet showed both parents and gymnasts how such hard work pays off, as the girls took home ribbons and medals.

Results from the Igloo Invitational meet at C.S. Gymnastics:

Copper 9-11 years old

Emily Rodriguez of Stillwater- 3rd Bars, 4th on Vault and Balance Beam

Morgyn Witt of Newton- 2nd Place on Balance Beam

Copper 8 years old

Ciara Pesselli-Hauser of Newton- 2nd on Vault, 3rd on Uneven Bars, 4th on Floor, and 3rd Place All Around

Caroline Dietz of Lafayette- 1st Place on Vault and 6th on Balance Beam

Katerina Hlywa of Fredon- 5th Place on Balance Beam

Meagan Ward of Fredon- 2nd Place on Uneven Bars and 4th Place on Balance Beam

Bronze 12 and up

Gianna Macones of Sparta- 2nd on Uneven Bars, 3rd on Floor, 4th on Vault and 3rd Place All Round

Rebecca Rodriguez of Stillwater- 2nd Place on Floor and 3rd Place on Balance Beam

Danielle Weiss of Ogdensburg- 2nd Place on Balance Beam

Bronze 9-11

Marguerite Bysshe of Sparta- 4th Place on Floor

Riley D’Alessandro of Sparta- 1st Place on Vault, 6th on Balance Beam and 6th Place All Around

Tori Frisbie of Sandyston- 4th Place on Balance Beam

Kayla Komnath of Hardyston- 1st Place on Uneven Bars and 2nd Place on Vault

Amanda LiCausi of Milford, Pennsylvania- 2nd Place on Balance Beam, 3rd on Vault and Floor, and 4th Place All Around.

Silver 15 and up

Christina Chernati of Stillwater- 4th Place on Uneven Bars

Kelly Hurley of Sparta- 5th Place on Vault and Balance Beam

Kaitlyn Peccia of Lafayette- 3rd Place on Vault and 4th Place on Balance Beam

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