Even though the graduation losses include one of the program’s all-time greats, Wilton gymnastics coach Gary Chadwick thinks his team can be better this season.
Actually, Chadwick says the Warriors have to be better if they want to win a third straight Class M state championship.
“The score we won with last year (131.95) probably isn’t going to be good enough this season,” Chadwick said. “We likely need to be around 136 or 137, at least.”
Gone from last season’s team is Jessica Olin, who won the vault and the floor exercise at the Class M meet and the State Open. Olin leaves as the school-record holder in each event.
“Jess is obviously a big loss, no doubt about it,” Chadwick said. “But I think we do have a little better depth on floor and beam this year.”
Wilton’s top returnee is junior Lilly Byrnes, who finished third in the floor exercise at the Class M meet with a 9.0. Byrnes, who made the All-FCIAC first team last season, also competes on vault and balance beam for the Warriors.
Also back are seniors Carter Siegel (vault/bars/beam) and Kate Ginsburg (beam/floor/vault) and junior Sarah Collias (all-around). Siegel made the All-FCIAC first team, and Ginsburg and Collias earned spots on the All-FCIAC second team.
“It’s a good group that’s returning,” Chadwick said. “Sarah is adding bars and doing the all-around this season, and Lily, Kate and Carter all have certain events they are very good at. Lily’s floor routine should be one of the best in the state.”
Juniors Lauren Cooper (bars) and Megan McNamara (bars) and sophomore Alexandra Breakey (floor) also return.
Newcomers include sophomore Kaylie Berghaus (beam/bars) and freshmen Olivia Mannino (all-around), Justine Biersack (floor/vault), Sofia Blessing (floor/bars/vault), and Grace Condon (bars/beam).
Mannino could have the biggest impact.
“She’s one to watch for the next four years,” Chadwick said about Mannino. “She’s a real good all-around gymnast who is going to help us right away.”
Notes: Wilton begins the season on Saturday night (6:30) against Trumbull, St. Joseph and New Canaan at Dimension Gymnastics in Trumbull.