PASSAIC VALLEY, NJ - Randolph High School’s gymnastics team might be small with only eight competitors, but they came together strong on Monday Oct. 7 to obtain their third victory of the season on Passaic Valley’s senior night. The Rams scored a 99.25 overall, topping their 98.05 best last season.

Many of the gymnasts on Randolph’s team do not participate in Club gymnastics, so they work hard to obtain new skills and improve through the high school program. 

“Many of the gymnasts, especially the seniors, have had to rise up and do things they do not necessarily want to do in order to help the team come together and win meets,” said coach Susan Falleni, who is in her 26th year coaching.

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The team got off to a great start with two qualifying scores on their first event, uneven bars, and kept the momentum going throughout the whole meet.  They were able to obtain some additional qualifying scores for sectionals, which will be held on November 2.

Captains Sofia Moussan and Taylor Haun provided lots of assurance and encouragement throughout the meet in order to push the whole team to come together.  Registering some of the best scores of the season, the Rams team leaders certainly motivated their troops in this meet.

Haun, who has not competed since her freshman year due to an injury, displays sensational determination to the rest of the team by competing every meet on bars, and never being disappointed with her scores or any of her teammates scores.

“I love being able to compete again and help the team’s drive by simply competing and cheering everyone else on,” said Haun.  “But, I know my career is almost over which makes me and the rest of the team feel “bitter-sweet.”

With such a small team it is crucial everyone contributes every little thing they can because it is never certain who’s scores will count. With many of Randolph’s other meets being extremely close, the Rams started to pull away during this meet, finally taking a victory by a comfortable margin.

It has been a bit of a building year for the Rams in 2019, however, the girls are starting to come together after graduating many key members the past two seasons. 

One of the bright young stars however is Freshman, Lily Ward, who has led the team in all events almost every meet. Having already qualified in all four events ( Floor, Bars, Beam, Vault ) for state sectionals, she is surely a competitor to look out for at sectionals and in the seasons to come.

Sophomore, Josie Byrne, has also thoroughly helped the team competing all around every meet and sticking almost all of her routines she competes.

The last all-arounder, junior, Skye Gioia, aided the team as well by qualifying on almost every event once so far.  Gioia was able to do that after being out for a month, and having only competed in two meets with little practice in between.

Moussan believes the team can definitely accomplish everyone’s goals. 

“As long as we improve on our confidence we can be successful because we have the talent to win and the skills to have an amazing season,” said Moussan. 

“The only thing that stands in our way once in a while is our lack of confidence, and when many of us are too hard on ourselves,” said Moussan.   “Our coach was out sick for the pre-meet practice last Saturday and the girls had little preparation but still did absolutely amazing. This proves my point that we have the talent, we just need the mindset now.”

The Randolph High School Gymnastics team is hoping to carry this momentum forward to finish their season strong.