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April 5, 2013

Blair gymnastics dominates in season opener

by Temi Ibirogba, Online Managing Editor
NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, April 4--

With a new coach by their side and three strong captains along with many new team members, the Blazers gymnastics team came out with the drive to win last night, and that's exactly what they did.

The Nelson H. Kobren Memorial Gymnasium is prepared for the first gymnastic meet of the season. Temi Ibirogba
The Nelson H. Kobren Memorial Gymnasium is prepared for the first gymnastic meet of the season.
The team showed strong determination after having only two practices post-spring break. In addition, due to budget cuts, the team has had to lose three hours a week of practice for the duration of this season.

Blazer gymnasts such as senior captains, Sidney Smith (first overall) and Kayla McCaw (second overall) helped the team maintain solid scores, pushing them ahead of Gaithersburg and Blake.

Blair began the meet on the vault, where McCaw placed first and Smith, second. Two new sophomore gymnasts, Maya Montenegro and Vicky Nguyen, went on vault which added a new rhythm to the dynamic.

Montenegro and Nguyen also performed on the uneven bars, where McCaw once again placed first with Smith behind her at a close second. Senior captain, Rachel Robey (sixth overall) also gave a strong performance on the bars, completing two flips on the lower bar before moving on to the higher and sticking her land.

After success on sticking lands, the Blazers moved on to the balance beam where tumbling and dance skills are performed. Going in, the team realized that it would not be their strength due to lack of practice time but still managed to place extremely well. The top three for beam were Smith (first), McCaw (second) and Robey (third) with sophomore Shailee Bruck coming in a close fourth.

Other major performances of the meet came from both junior Lily Gates and Bruck. Gates' floor performance brought excitement to the crowd and changed the mood to a more upbeat tempo with her skillful dancing to fast paced music and constant smiling throughout the song. Bruck also showed dynamic skill despite appearing to hurt her ankle at the end of her floor performance and lying on the ground sparking concern. Despite the injury, she still managed to place third on floor while Gates placed fifth.

The two other teams showed strengths and weaknesses in the four different events. Gaithersburg struggled on beam and vault while Blake was a big force with their floor routines. "Blake has strong tumbling and rely on it," Robey said.

Before the first meet, the team's new coach, Amanda Ruderman already had ideas of what she wanted to bring to the team. "I am very excited for teaching new skills to returning gymnasts, giving beginner gymnasts confidence in their skills and teaching them basic skills, as well as competitions," Ruderman said. Robey agrees that Ruderman did this especially through her helpful guidance on vault which led many Blazer gymnasts to complete handsprings during that event.

With a strong win out of the way, the Blazers are looking forward to their upcoming meet against Whitman and plan on practicing as much as possible.

Editor's Note: Lily Gates is a junior staff writer for Silver Chips Online.

Come support our Lady Blazers when they take on Walter Johnson and Gaithersburg on April 18, at 5pm at home.



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