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Girls’ Varsity Gymnastics Team Leaps Through an Undefeated Season

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Samantha Yan ’21 finishing a kip on the bar.

Samantha Yan ’21 finishing a kip on the bar.

Samira Ashif

Samira Ashif

Samantha Yan ’21 finishing a kip on the bar.

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During the Winter 2017-2018 sports season, the  Girls’ Varsity Gymnastics team rolled, cartwheeled, and flipped their way to victory with an undefeated season for their fifth consecutive year. The team’s success can be attributed to their hard work, dedication, and of course, their impeccable flexibility.

The team consists of thirteen members in total: four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, and five freshmen. “I think that gymnastics is a highly underrated sport. People should really come to our meets, as they’re a lot of fun and we work really hard,” said Yasmin Andrews ’18, one of the three team captains.

The team’s efforts clearly paid off as they accomplished plenty this season. In addition to being undefeated, they won first place at the Marilyn Cross Division for Bronx/Manhattan for the fifth consecutive time and third place in the A Division for the third consecutive year. The team also set a new school record at City Championships, scoring a total of 119.475 points.

Furthermore, for the first time, four members were able to qualify for and compete in the individual gymnastics meet. Captain Samantha Gong ’18 won second place overall and was given the honorary title of “League Leader” on the beam, floor, and vault for Division A. Samantha Yan ’21 was also “League Leader” on the beam for Division B and won sixth place all around. Ellie Michaud ’20 won fifth place all around at the meet.

With all of these triumphs, it comes as no surprise that many of the team members have been doing gymnastics for a long period of time. “I joined the team during my freshman year because I had been doing gymnastics outside of school for about two and a half years,” Elinor Dayan ’19 said. “I really wanted to continue doing what I loved in high school.”

“There were no feelings of hostility between us, just happiness and pride in our amazing team.”

Like Dayan, Mariya Pershyna ’19 also joined the girls gymnastics team during her freshman year. “I used to do gymnastics in elementary school, and I really enjoyed the sport,” said Pershyna.

With gymnastics being a Varsity sports team, a significant number of the team mebers are seniors who will be graduating this year. In addition to being captain, Samantha Gong ’18 is also a current senior on the team who formerly competed at a Junior Olympic level. “The part of high school gymnastics that I’ll miss the most is having teammates who actually support one another; our priority is getting the highest score as a team. There were no feelings of hostility between us, just happiness and pride in our amazing team,” Gong said.

Coach Vasiliki Konstantakakos, known simply as ‘Coach K’ by the team, has been the coach for the Girls’ Varsity Gymnastics team for the past five years. “Coaching the team is really rewarding when you see improvements in the girls’ skills and performance over the course of the seasons,” said Coach Konstantakakos. “Seeing the joy and excitement in their faces after they’ve learned new skills they never thought possible is one of the greatest experiences to have as a coach.”

With all of their accomplishments over the past few years, the Girls’ Varsity Gymnastics team hopes to have an even more successful season next year.

Samira Ashif
Elana Michaud ’20 doing a back walkover on a balance beam.

Samira Ashif
Fionna Chen ’18 doing a chest stand during practice.

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Girls’ Varsity Gymnastics Team Leaps Through an Undefeated Season