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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, February 2, 2012
Guilderland not the very best, but always close to Saratoga
GUILDERLAND Saratoga has had the best gymnastics team in Section II for a long time, winning the last 10 championships. Guilderland has filled the second seat plenty of times, trying desperately to unseat the Blue Streaks whenever the two meet up.
Usually, the tension at these meets can be cut with a knife; every point counts.
On Tuesday, Guilderland hosted Saratoga at Lynnwood Elementary, and the Streaks left with a five-point victory. Junior Sidney Snyder told The Enterprise that the Dutch’s original idea was to get really close.
“We’re hoping to scare them a little bit before sectionals,” said Snyder, who competed in vault and balance beam on Tuesday. “We had a big pep talk tonight about how important it is to stay close to Saratoga. You have to point your toes and keep those legs straight. We’ll see what happens tonight, and then critique it for sectionals.”
The largest disparity between Guilderland and Saratoga came on the floor exercise. Claire Levy said that the Dutch needed to do well on floor to have a chance to win, but the Streaks swept the top five spots with scores of 9.0 or better.
“It’s always very competitive between the two of us,” said Levy, a junior, who has competed beside her twin sister, Jaclyn, since eighth grade. “You want to peek over at what Saratoga is doing, but you have to stay focused on your own routine.”
Claire Levy was second on the vault with a score of 8.45, landing a half-full, which is half on the vault, then a twist off. She was fourth in overall points with 32.75, behind teammate Hailey Marini, who won the entire meet with a score of 34.45.
“These routines are pretty difficult,” Levy said.
The most anxious part of the evening for Guilderland was during the balance beam. It was quiet during each girl’s turn, as most went about their business elegantly.
“I think the mentality depends on the day,” said Katie Govin, the only senior on Guilderland’s team. The beam is her favorite event because of its uniqueness. “I don’t need as much mental prep because I’ve been on this team for six years,” she said. “But, I used to sit down and go over everything in my head.”
Snyder said that Guilderland is trying to work in new skills for the balance beam, but, overall, the team is improving. “We’ve found where we need to go, found that mental place,” she said. “We’re doing better than we have.”
So, five points separate Guilderland from Saratoga. A few more clean landings might be enough for the Dutch next time.
“It would be very exciting,” Govin said about the possibility of beating Saratoga. “It would mean a lot.”
By Jordan J. Michael
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