ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury High School’s first gymnastics team is doing great, says its coach, Tara Liska. In fact, it’s doing better than its official record of 2-1 shows, she said.
“It’s a little confusing,” said the coach. “We are kind of 3-0. But technically we are 2-1.”
How’s that? According to Liska, the discrepancy relates to a scorekeeping mistake at the team’s last meet. “The girl keeping score at the last meet wrote it down wrong on the paper,” said the coach.
She said she didn’t realize the mistake was made until it was too late. “Once the score sheets are signed, they become official,” Liska said. She’s taking the blame for not noticing the mistake. “It was completely my fault,” she said. “I went to the director and he said there’s nothing we can do, even though we, technically, should have won the meet.”
Chalk it up as a lesson learned by a new coach. Liska, a 22-year-old Roxbury graduate who was a gymnast for 17 years, said everything else about the start of the team’s inaugural season is going great.
“It’s going really well,” she said. “The girls are working very hard … Everybody is pretty healthy, just the usual kind of ached and pains. I’m making sure I’m not pushing them too hard because a lot of the girls go to my practice and then go to their club team practices.”
Liska said all the girls are doing well, but Tiffany Zieba has been the Gaels' lead scorer for all three meets so far. "We've also had two freshman, Alexis Merola and Morgan Valdes who are doing pretty well," the coach said. "They're freshman, but they're really stepping up and doing well in all four events."
The team won’t compete again until Oct. 1, when it takes on Randolph. “It’s nice to have a break now,” said the coach, noting the team will use the downtime to prepare for the tough competition she expects it will find with Randolph.