With team short on floor performers due to injury, Wilton High gymnastics coach Gary Chadwick turned to senior captain Sam Farhi to help out at last Saturday's FCIAC championships.
Farhi hadn't competed on floor all season, but turned in an 8.3 score that was three-quarters of a point higher than Wilton's fifth scorer on floor.
Those points proved crucial as the Warriors edged out Fairfield Ludlowe for third place by five one-hundredths of a point.
"That made the difference. We wouldn't have finished third without her," said Chadwick of Farhi's floor routine.
The Warriors had gone into the meet ranked fourth behind Ludlowe and were missing one of its top gymnasts in senior Morgan Leddy, who is injured. With Greenwich and Darien the clear favorites, third place was the best Wilton could do.
"That's what we were hoping for, to get on the podium. We were pretty happy about that, especially with Morgan out," said Chadwick.
Greenwich and Darien finished first and second with 143 and 135 points, respectively, at the meet, held at Law High School in Milford.
Wilton had a team score of 133.6, while Ludlowe scored 133.55. It was Wilton's second best score of the season.
"We were a point behind Ludlowe going into the meet. We had lost them to early in the season," said Chadwick. "We were pretty thrilled. The kids did a great job. We did about as well as we could considering we didn't have Morgan."
The Warriors surpassed their season average on all four events, and the team score beat their season average by 2.2 points. Chadwick said it was a rare FCIAC tournament in which the scoring wasn't squeezed by the judges.
"There hasn't been an FCIAC tournament where I felt as good about the scoring and performances of the kids on all of the events as I did on Saturday," he said. "We hit just about everything we could."
Wilton scored a season-best 34.6 on floor, led by Nicki Babkowski's 8.9, which just missed first-team all-FCIAC, Chadwick said. Meredith Nash and Alex Uriarte both scored 8.7s, followed by Farhi (8.3) and Rebecca Poirier and Taylor White, both with 7.55s.
On beam, the Warriors were without one of their top performers in Leddy, costing them at least a point. But they still produced their third best score of the season with a 32.5. Farhi led the way with an 8.4, followed by Uriarte (8.35), Alyssa Jarrett (8.3), Meredith Nash (7.45) and Brooke Taffler (7.45).
On bars, Wilton scored 32.6, their second-best score of the season. Uriarte had a team-high score of 8.25, followed by Riley Wadehra (8.2), Jarrett (8.15), Farhi (8.0), Sam Huffman (7.85) and Taffler (7.65).
On vault, the Warriors had a score of 33.9, their third best of the season. Babkowski led the way with an 8.65 and Nash scored an 8.55. They were followed by Poirier with an 8.4 and Uriarte and Taffler, both with 8.3s. Wadehra scored an 8.0.
Uriarte finished with an all-around score of 33.6.
The Warriors close out the regular season today with a meet in New Milford, and expect to compete at the Class M state championships on Feb. 27 at Pomperaug High School. Wilton is currently ranked ninth in the state among all schools with a 131.95 average.
Individual team members will also be looking to lock down spots for the State Open on March 5. The top 40 ranked gymnasts in each event (based on season average) qualify for the State Open.
Currently, Babkowski is ranked 32nd in the state on vault (8.6125), while Poirier is ranked 42nd (8.45).
On bars, Wadehra is ranked 31st (8.2875), Uriarte 36th (8.1375), Jarrett 41st (8.05) and Farhi (43rd (8.0125).
Babkowski is ranked 18th in the state on floor (8.775) and Nash is ranked 25th (8.675).
Notes: Wilton defeated Westhill last Wednesday at home, 130.85 to 104.1.
Babkowski led the team on vault with an 8.6, followed by Poirier (8.5), Nash (8.3) and Wadehra (8.25).
On bars, Wadehra had the high score with an 8.4, followed by Uriarte (8.1), Farhi (8.0) and Jarrett (8.0).
Farhi led the way on beam with an 8.4, followed by Uriarte (7.8), Taffler (7.75) and Jarrett (7.5).
Wilton got big performances on floor from Nash (8.9) and Babkowski (8.85), while Uriarte scored 8.5 and White had a 7.0.