Gymnastics: Strong vaulting leads Wilton past Staples

After starting the meet off with a strong performance on vault, the Wilton High gymnastics team seemed poised to produce a season-best score in Thursday's home opener.

Unfortunately, a slight dip on bars and a poor showing on beam ruined the Warriors' chances of achieving a season high, as they finished with a 130.5 score.

"We really could have had a nice score after the start we had on vault. We missed a golden opportunity," said head coach Gary Chadwick. "We just didn't get it done on beam."

The team's score on vault, 34.9, was a season-best by well over a point. The score on beam, 30.15, was more than two points lower than at Tuesday's meet at Fairfield.

"Beam is always an unknown commodity. It certainly didn't do us any favors last night," Chadwick said on Friday.

Wilton did manage to beat visiting Staples, which scored 118.1, to improve its season record to 2-2.

The Warriors had a banner day on vault, with all six gymnasts scoring 8.45 or higher. Rebecca Poirier led the way with a season-high 8.85. Also recording season-bests were Nicki Babkowski (8.8), Taylor White (8.65), Brooke Taffler (8.6), Riley Wadehra (8.55) and Alex Uriarte (8.45).

Wilton was without Meredith Nash, its top vaulter in the first two meets, who is sidelined with a stress factor of her shin bone.

On bars, a couple of falls and some small mistakes led to a score of 31.65, which was more than six-tenths of a point below the Warriors' season average going in.

Chadwick said the Warriors had a good performance on floor, as they scored 33.8, a season high. It was noteworthy given that Nash, the team's second best floor performer (averaging 8.6) was out.

"That really hurt us on floor. She was definitely missed," Chadwick said.

But the team got a lift from two gymnasts who had finalized their floor routines the day before and made their season debuts on Thursday.

White, a freshman, scored a 7.7 on her first floor routine ever in a competition, while Poirier scored 7.3 in her first time out this season.

Babkowski led the way on floor with a season-best 8.8, with other season-bests by Morgan Leddy (8.5) and Uriarte (8.4), while Sam Huffman tied her season-best with an 8.1.

After three meets, the Warriors' average is 130.4. The team travels to Greenwich for a meet on Monday afternoon at 4.

Results for Thursday's meet were:

Wilton 139.5, Staples 118.1

Vault (34.9) — Rebecca Poirier 8.85, Nicki Babkowski 8.8, Taylor White 8.65, Brooke Taffler 8.6, Riley Wadehra 8.55, Alex Uriarte 8.45;

Bars (31.65) — Riley Wadehra 8.1, Alex Uriarte 7.9, Sam Farhi 7.85, Alyssa Jarrett 7.8, Sam Huffman 7.05, Morgan Leddy 6.4;

Beam (30.15) — Alex Uriarte 7.7, Sam Farhi 7.65, Morgan Leddy 7.4, Brooke Taffler 7-4, Alyssa Jarrett 7.3, Sam Huffman 6.4;

Floor (33.8) — Nicki Babkowski 8.8, Morgan Leddy 8.5, Alex Uriarte 8.4, Sam Huffman 8.1, Taylor White 7.7, Rebecca Poirier 7.3.