WL Places First In First Home Gymnastics Meet


Freshmen Sophia Bailey looks over the gymnastics events being held at the school, waiting for her turn on vault. This is the schools first home meet of the season against four other competing schools.

The school’s gymnastics team placed first out of five  at the first home meet of the season on December 19. Led by head coach Joe D’Emidio and assistant coach Ronald Melkis, this meet was a step forward for the team from their second place wins in their past two meets. The team competed against the participating teams: Yorktown, McLean, West Potomac and Hayfield. Hayfield placed second and Yorktown placed third. The most important rival is Yorktown High School, which Washington-Lee hasn’t beat in years.

The four events that take place at high school gymnastics meets are vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Scoring for each gymnast is determined by adding together the difficulty score and execution score. Each routine is given a start value, and the actual score is the total of credit given for the routine minus deductions for execution.

“We came into the meet feeling anxious and nervous considering we knew how good everyone was,” Junior Maddie Kuzdzal said. “We were watching the other teams and still [thought] we’re going to get second or third, but we stayed confident and finished the meet with little to no flaws.”

Nobody fell on beam, which is fairly rare for the team. When a gymnast falls off the beam, it can cost the team a lot of points. Freshmen Sophia Bailey blew out her knee on her first vault, yet was able to secure third place on beam despite the injury, and has recovered since. Bailey placed third on beam, and freshmen Grace Chen placed second on vault and beam, and third on bars and all around.

“It felt really good to have accomplished that during our home meet and having all the support of the team. I was also happy that I contributed to the team., Chen said. The gymnastics team has 8 more meets left in their season.