Wilton gymnasts expect more success in 2017

It was a season marred by injuries, but the Wilton High gymnastics team still managed to take some positive forward steps — and is poised to progress further next season.

“I thought we were better this year than last year and I think we’ll have a little better year next year,” said head coach Gary Chadwick. “We’re going to be in pretty good shape. I can’t really see a weak event next year.”

The Warriors finished the season with an average of 133.19. They scored 130.975 at the state
Class M championships, about 1.5 points higher than the previous season.

At the FCIAC championships, Wilton finished third with a score of 133.6, which was about five points better than the year before, when the Warriors were fifth.

“That was probably the highlight of the season,” said Chadwick, who was missing Morgan Leddy, one of the team’s senior captains, for the FCIAC and state meets.

“That’s what we were hoping for, to get on the podium. We were pretty happy about that, especially with Morgan out,” said Chadwick after the meet.

At FCIACs, the Warriors surpassed their season average on all four events, and the team score beat its season average by 2.2 points.

Looking ahead, Wilton will have to find the points to replace its three seniors — Leddy, co-captain Riley Wadehra, and Sam Farhi.

Farhi was the team’s best performer on beam (seventh at FCIACs), while Wadehra led the Warriors on bars, earning second-team all-FCIAC (11th at FCIACs).

Leddy was among the team’s top performers on beam and floor.

The team still returns a strong group with juniors Nicki Babkowski, Meredith Nash, Alex Uriarte and Rebecca Poirier and sophomores Brooke Taffler, Sam Huffman, Alyssa Jarrett and Taylor White.

Babkowski and Nash both had 9.0 floor routines and will lead a strong rotation on floor next season, along with Uriarte, Huffman, Taffler and White.

Babkowski, Nash and Uriarte were all second-team all-FCIAC on floor. Babkowski and Nash both were second-team all-state.

Chadwick expects Taffler to lead the way on bars next season, along with Uriarte, Huffman and Jarrett. Uriarte was second-team all-FCIAC and second-team all-state on bars, while Jarrett was second-team all-FCIAC.

On vault, Wilton will have Babkowski, Nash, Uriarte, Poirier and Taffler. Babkowski, Nash, Uriarte and Poirier were all second-team all-FCIAC.

Beam is probably the one question mark headed into next year, although the Warriors have several key performers returning in Uriarte (second-team all-FCIAC), Jarrett (second-team all-FCIAC), Huffman and Nash.

Chadwick said with the addition of two talented gymnasts moving into the program, especially on bars and beam, Wilton won’t be taking a step back next season — although he doubts the Warriors can challenge Greenwich and Darien for supremacy in the FCIAC.

But the Warriors should be in the mix.

“We’re not going anywhere,” he said. “But we're going to need help from the two freshmen next year.”