Greenwich gymnastics team aiming to maintain its excellence

Last season just kept getting more exciting for the Greenwich High School gymnastics squad, which followed victories at the FCIAC and Class L Championships by winning its first State Open team title.

Though the Cardinals have a slightly different look this season, they expect to collect plenty of medals, win a lot of events and of course, add to their already impressive, championship resume.

“I feel good about our team, I feel we are going to very well this year,” said Cardinals senior co-captain Kelsey Fedorko, who is in her fourth season on the squad. “We have a lot of new members, who are very good at gymnastics and hopefully, they are going to add on to our team and make us better at the FCIAC, state and State Open championships.”

Among the graduates from last season’s championship team was standout performer Adnerys De Jesus, who was instrumental in the Cardinals’ three-year success run.

De Jesus, who won the vault (9.75) and uneven bars (9.575) events at the State Open and won two events at the FCIAC Championships, is competing on the gymnastics team at the University of Nebraska.

“This year, we don’t have Adnerys, who was great, but I think we can still do well,” Fedorko said. “I believe in our team and I think we still have what it takes to win FCIACs. We’ll just have to work harder for it.”

Fedorko, senior Ellie Marino and senior co-captain Gianna Cardini are a trio that consistently earned high scores in each meet last winter. Marino placed third at the State Open on the balance beam with a score of 9.025, while Fedor ko won the floor exercise title (9.600). The talented trio also made their mark at the FCIAC and Class L championships.

Greenwich opened its 2018-19 season in style last week, defeating Staples, 137.65-128.55.

“I feel good about the team after what I saw in the first meet,” said GHS coach Sue Knight, whose Cardinals won the State Open title last season with a team score of 143.525. “They showed that they were ready for the season, which was great. It was a very impressive start to our season.”

Fedorko finished first in each event in the Cards’ season-opener, winning the vault (9.3), uneven bars (9.2), beam (9.15) and floor exercise (9.3). Marino was second on the bars (9.15) and beam (8.75), while Cardini was the runner-up in the vault (8.8) and floor exercise (8.6).

“We did really well at our first meet,” Fedorko said. “We are all working really hard and we are concentrating on staying focused and positive.”

WHO’S GONE? : The dynamic De Jesus made a habit of making the spectacular look routine during her three seasons on the Cardinals. She garnered a wealth of first-place medals over the years in the championship meets she competed in.

“She helped le ad us to the first State Open championship in the history of our school,” K night said of De Jesus. “Adnerys is a great gymnast, who everyone loves to watch. She just made it look so easy.”

Valerie Cella, who like De Jesus served as a senior captain, also scored well for the Cardinals last year.

WHO’S BACK? : Fedorko has already amassed more than 1,000 points in her Greenwich career and will be adding on to that amount in a big way this winter.

“That point-total is outstanding for a three-year gymnast,” Knight said. “I’m looking forward to watching her compete this season.”

Marino emerged as one of the premier performers in the state in her first season on the squad last winter, while Cardini should build on what was a solid junior year.

Also adding skill and depth to the squad are junior Juliette Freiheit, Celine Perrin (junior), Syrah Perrin (senior), Allie Trotman (junior), Sydney Steele (sophomore) and Claudia Lopez (sophomore).

Newcomers to the team include freshmen Mei Luangkhot, Cameron O’Carroll, Tina Shala, Brett Edmonds and Melanie Weiner.

COACH’S COMMENT : “Our captains are dedicated and their skills are amazing,” said Knight, whose squad captured the Class L team title last year with a score of 145.425. “The team has a lot of potential, with everyone improving a lot from last year.”

CAPTAIN’S COMMENT: “I would like the members of our team to form friendship bonds, focus on winning FCIACs and states and to think positive,” Fedorko said.

NOTE: Greenwich is in action again on Friday against host Wilton.