By ALEX SPONSELLER The high school gymnastics state championships were held last weekend and the Warwick co-op team took home the Region 2 Championship over Cranston West and Coventry. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the state elected to split teams into
By ALEX SPONSELLER The high school gymnastics state championships were held last weekend and the Warwick co-op team took home the Region 2 Championship over Cranston West and Coventry.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the state elected to split teams into different regions instead of a traditional state meet format. Warwick cruised to the win with a team score of 138.2 to complete its perfect season.
“Going into the season when we saw our region, we saw Cranston West who killed it last year, Coventry that was a Division I team. I wasn’t 100 percent sure how we would fare with them but we won our first meet and I knew we would do well. The team grew much closer as the year went on and killed it at the Division II Championship,” said Warwick coach Candis Kowalik.
Freshman Madison Long won the state championship in the floor event for Warwick and took second in the all-around competition, while fellow freshman teammate Katie Ignagni finished third all-around.
“(Long) has honestly been doing the tumbling that she did on that event for awhile, she has been a rockstar on the floor for quite a few years now. She’s been well ahead of her peers in that department. At the end of the season when she placed high at our team championships, I knew where she was at going into (the championship), I knew if she hit her routine then she would likely come out on top,” said Kowalik.
Kowalik’s familiarity with the youngsters also helped integrate them into the program right out the gate.
“These are kids that when I was in high school were the younger kids in my gym so I knew they would be coming up soon. It definitely gives me a stronger relationship with them because I know how to push them through since I had similar training from the same coaches, I know the coaching that they’re used to,” said Kowalik.
In such an unusual winter, Kowalik was proud of her team for working its way through the ups and downs and is looking forward to seeing how this young core progresses next year.
“It was definitely difficult for them. It’s scary in gymnastics having to wear a mask, having it just below their eyes. It’s hard, it’s scary, it was definitely an adjustment. We were lucky that we didn’t have to go through too much in terms of close contacts and quarantines. Things worked out,” said Kowalik. “It was a great accomplishment. I told them that there is no pressure for next year because giving them such strong expectations that quickly, that would be a lot of pressure, I feel the best way is to take it one meet at a time and build up confidence.”
Riley Bromage led Warwick on the beam with a 9.15 score. Bromage and McKenna Fritsche led Warwick on the bars with scores of 8.25 while Long was the team’s top scorer in the vault at 8.80.
Emily Parillo led West in the vault with a score of 8.95 while Talia Wandyes led the Falcons on the bars with an 8.90. Wandyes also had the team’s high score on the beam at 9.35. Brooke Anderson scored a 9.10 on the floor, while Parillo led the team with an all-around score of 32.5.