Inside the World of Leaps and Layouts: Gymnastics Flies in 2018
Kayla Leonard '20
19 October 2018
Varsity Gymnastics has proven its potential through the great accomplishments and placings achieved so far this season, winning more meets in 2018 than all wins combined in the past 7 years. The team has already captured four wins, their highest score being an outstanding 99.75 out of 120 possible points.
Their season debut on September 17 marked the first of many victorious nights for the Hornets, achieving a final score of 95.345 against Clifton's score of 49.775.
The team recently competed at the Passaic County Championships, in which they secured second place against intense competition. A couple of girls qualified for the State Sectionals, including Patricia Giuriceo '20 and Isabella Stile '22. Stile additionally placed 2nd in the County All-Around Competition and made First Team All-County.
Leading the team are captains Mailin Dassinger ‘19, Kayla Binetti ‘20 and Giuriceo. Their responsibilities range from running practices, where they condition and repeatedly perform their routines, to encouraging the team throughout meets. The captains must also ensure that the gymnasts are fully prepared to compete to the best of their ability.
Head Coach Ms. Jenai Agosta has directed the team for many years now, gaining much experience managing such a demanding sport. To be a member of the team, Agosta requires a willingness to participate in some way and consistency in working towards a skill or goal. "I want them to do well and I push them to do well, but at the same time it’s on their shoulders also," says Agosta. "You have to want to do this."
Several girls also train at their own gyms outside of school, such as Giuriceo who is a JOGA level 2 gymnast. She has been doing gymnastics for 13 years and currently trains 3 days a week at Tumble Techs. Stile also trains at Tumble Techs as a USAG level 9 competitive gymnast.
Coach Agosta notes that the addition of Stile and Rebecca Sullivan '21 contributed greatly to this season’s impressive scores. The returning athletes have also shown much improvement over the years, making Passaic Valley a force to be reckoned with. The future of PV Gymnastics is looking bright with the 2018 season’s newest members and the skills they bring to the team.
"[PV Gymnastics] is about holding together a program where I know girls can go in the afternoons and be safe and have something to do. Because to me, that’s very important in this day and age," says Agosta.
Every year, she hopes to build not just a strong team, but a close family. In the past, the team has gone on many trips together outside of practice, from Broadway shows to Olympic Gymnastics tour performances, and Agosta hopes to continue this tradition. One of Giuriceo's goals for this season was to have the team become more family oriented and she believes the girls accomplished that this year.
"...it’s never about winning for me, it’s about just improving your scores. And if we’re improving our scores, then to me we’re winners," Agosta declares. PV Gymnastics is undoubtedly a new threat to opponents; their high scores set the bar for future Hornet gymnasts.