It's our turn now! Green Wave gymnasts primed to make their own mark

Green Wave gymnasts primed to make their own mark

Tough act to follow, that New England championship captured last March by the 2010 edition of New Milford High School gymnastics team.

Yet to observe this year's band of Green Wave gymnasts, one would not sense a pervading feeling they face undue pressure or dread the challenges ahead.

Coach Bethany Mihaly's latest crew of talented athletes features a couple of new faces to complement the valuable holdovers from the championship squad.

Graduated, among others from the 2010 team, and now practicing her ample skills at Yale University is Ashley O'Connor, perhaps the best gymnast ever in the Green Wave's rich history in the sport.

Injuries and the steady does of mid-week snowstorms have made this winter quite the challenge.

Racehl Dobies, Allison Cheng and Jasmine Ros all were expected to be out of last Friday's home meet vs. New Canaan and Westhill.

They were quickly joined on the sideline by Allison Profeta and Carla Hernandez due to hopefully minor physical ailments incurred during the competition.

"That's half the team down," chortled coach Mihaly.

Yet the cupboard is not bare for the Green Wave.

Carla Hernandez and Alison Profeta are both expected back at full strength and such solid performers as seniors Colleen Menard and Jessica Cochrane have helped stabilize the ship.

The Green Wave was able last Friday to post a respectable 115.55 score to outperform New Canaan (97.5) and Westhill (72.6) and improve its season ledger to 7-0.

Colleen Menard showed the way with an all-around 34.8 score and Carla Hernandez contributed valuable routines in the vault and on bars before cramping during her floor exercise.

Clinching the victories for the NMHS girls were important and somewhat unexpected efforts by freshmen Julia Krier and Ashley Trowbridge.

"I was very proud and pleased to see my new freshmen step up to try to plug the holes," recounted coach Mihaly. "Needless to say, with freshmen like this, the future of the team is in good hands."

Whether the girls can possibly reach the heights attained last winter remains to be seen.

Most importantly, the Green Wave appears to be enjoying the road to state and possible New England competition and, along the way, demonstrating plenty of talent to boot.

The NMHS girls are scheduled to compete today (Friday) at 4:30 p.m. at home vs. Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe.

On the near horizon is the South-West Conference meet, slated next Thursday, Feb. 10 at 5 p.m.