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April 29, 2013

Gymnastics shows out for senior night

by Temi Ibirogba, Online Managing Editor
In its last home meet of the season, Blair gymnastics fought hard and placed second behind B-CC, with Blake finishing third. The Blazers prepared posters and roses for senior night which celebrated Sidney Smith, Kayla McCaw and Rachel Robey as well as the team's manager, Pilar Ocampo.

Senior Kayla McCaw performs her floor routine. Emma Howells
Senior Kayla McCaw performs her floor routine.
The Blazers were steady with their skills, placing in each event with Smith placing third all around and McCaw ending in fourth. B-CC showed precise skill on bars and was a powerhouse on floor while Blake remained the underdog in most events.

McCaw had the highest score for Blair on vault, finishing with a score of 8.5. On bars, Smith ended with 8.0 and stuck a perfect landing. McCaw once again dominated on beam also finishing with a strong dismount.

Floor scores added a lot of drama to normally calm meets. Each gymnast's routine must include three different saltos, complex flips. Gymnasts with stronger dance skills rather than tumbling depend on those dance skills to compensate for the missing requirements. Blair coach Amanda Ruderman was surprised with the final floor scores, which left the Blair gymnasts who included more dancing, with better scores than those who focused on tumbling.

Senior Sidney Smith performs a spilt during her floor routine. Courtesy of Emma Howells
Senior Sidney Smith performs a spilt during her floor routine.
In addition, without the presence of sophomore Vicky Nguyen on floor, the Blazers felt that there would be a gap in their usual solid scorers. But freshman Nguyen Phan, who has never competed before, stepped up and ending up getting a shocking 7.0 because of her strong dance performance "Imma Be" by the Black Eyed Peas.

Coming into this season, Ruderman hoped to teach the more amateur gymnasts new skills for meets. "I want to give beginner gymnasts confidence in their skills and teach them basic skills," she said. Phan's unexpected high score in last nights meet was a clear example of Ruderman's motives.

The Blazers came to compete and stayed strong especially against such skilled team like B-CC. The team hopes to be resilient competitors at the upcoming championships.



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