Schmidt leads Darien gymnastics at FCIACs
Junior Lana Schmidt had a stellar day to lead the Blue Wave gymnastics team at the 2019 FCIAC championship meet on Saturday at Westhill High School.
Schmidt placed fifth on vault and was named to the All-FCIAC First Team, while also placing ninth in the All Around with a 32.65.
In addition, senior Nikki Carlo, junior Kerry McDermott and sophomore Lauren Grandon earned All-FCIAC second team honors, and senior Sofia Fea-Ruiz was named an FCIAC honorable Mention.
Darien ranked sixth in the team competition with a score of 125.45. Greenwich was the league champion for the fourth straight year with a 135.10, while Fairfield Ludlowe was second and Wilton third.
The Wave started the meet on beam and once again had a stellar performance with no falls among the six competitors, earning the fourth-highest team score on the event.
Senior Lily Fairleigh and sophomore Lucy Collins’ steady routines set the pace for freshman duo Megan Cutler and Sommer Schmidt, who both hit key combinations to add team points. Lana Schmidt nailed her back-walkover to back-handspring to score 8.2. Carlo topped the Wave scoring with 8.4 and placed ninth overall on the event.
The freshman power pair continued to make an impact on floor as well, with both Cutler and Sommer Schmidt nailing their front-front combinations to earn team points. Lana Schmidt’s two layout tumbling passes and energetic dance earned 8.6. Carlo’s power tumbling again topped the scoring with 8.7 and would have scored higher except for a step out of bounds.
Vault was another highlight for the Wave with all gymnasts scoring 8.0 and above, starting with Fea-Ruiz and Sommer Schmidt. Carlo tweaked her ankle and elected to perform a twisting vault instead of her usual Tsuk but still scored 8.1.
Though both just returned from injuries, McDermott and Grandon proved their value to the team, scoring 8.2 and 8.25 for their twisting vaults. Lana Schmidt’s full-twist vault was the meet highlight for the team, scoring 8.75 for fifth place on the event.
Scores on bars were low throughout the meet and the event again proved a challenge for the Wave. Lana Schmidt swung to the team high score with 7.1, with McDermott, Collins and Cutler also adding team points. The Wave’s usual bars lead off gymnast, Maggie Russell, was unable to compete due to an ankle injury, but cheered the team on throughout the meet.
“Our Blue Wave gymnasts performed well,” head coach Judy Zakim said. “We started the meet with six stuck beam routines which is quite remarkable. We were ranked sixth going into the competition and we held onto our spot. And I’m so proud of Lana Schmidt, she’s been working hard in practice and her vault earned her a well-deserved spot on the podium and All FCIAC first team honors.”