Fairfield schools score championships to highlight FCIAC’s gymnastics season

Team gymnastics championships were won by both public high schools in Fairfield and Fairfield Warde senior Emma Johnson had another great season to highlight successful postseason accomplishments by several FCIAC teams and many gymnasts.

Johnson defended her all-around championship while leading Warde’s Mustangs to the team title at the 2021-22 FCIAC Gymnastics Championships in February and she was the all-around runner-up at the State Open while leading Warde to third place on March 5.

Two weeks after Fairfield Ludlowe was dethroned by Fairfield Warde at the conference championship meet, Fairfield Ludlowe then went and won the first state championship in school history in late February at Jonathan Law High School in Milford.

Fairfield Ludlowe won the CIAC Class L Gymnastics Championships after having been runner-up at the previous two Class L state championship meets in 2019 and ’20.

Fairfield Warde and St. Joseph’s both finished second in their respective state class championship meets – Warde in the Class M meet and St. Joseph in Class S.

Coach Kim Longobucco’s Fairfield Ludlowe Falcons won their Class L state championship by 0.45 points over defending champion Southington.

Ludlowe scored 131.475 points and Southington was runner-up with 131.025 points.

FCIAC member Trumbull placed third with 128.8 points, Glastonbury (127) took fourth place, and Staples (126.2) was the third FCIAC team among the top five.

Team scores were accumulated by each team’s four highest individual scores added up for a team score in each of the four events, and then the team scores from each of those four events were totaled up for the final team scores.

Ludlowe’s Falcons had the highest team scores on the vault (34.375) and balance beam (33.05), the second highest on the uneven bars (31.1), and they were fourth on the floor exercise (32.95).

The Falcons had the two highest individual scores on the balance beam as Jane Luczaj won that with an 8.9 and senior co-captain Ava Golding placed second with an 8.55. Luczaj also finished in a three-way tie for fourth place on the uneven bars (8.05) and Golding tied for fourth on the floor exercise.

Fairfield Ludlowe sophomore Emma Senatore and teammate Julia Gove placed second and fourth on the vault with respective scores of 8.975 and 8.675 and that was a pivotal event as the Falcons accumulated 34.375 points, which was 0.95 of a point more than Southington’s 33.425.

Mia Guster of Staples won the vault with a 9.6 and the floor exercise with an 8.85 at the state Class L meet.

Leah Cody was runner-up on the uneven bars (8.2), Ariana Sebourne placed third on the vault (8.925) and Juliana Pucciarelli tied for fourth on the floor exercise while leading Trumbull to third place.

Daisy Seaborne of Staples and Greenwich’s Clair Yee each scored an 8.05 to finish in a three-way tie for fourth place with Luczaj on the uneven bars.

All three of the state class championship meets took place at Jonathan Law High School on that same Feb. 26 date.

In Session 1, the powerhouse Woodstock Academy program scored 140.3 points to win the CIAC Class M Gymnastics Championships and Warde placed second with 135.375.

Taylor Markley had the highest score in all four events to lead the champions. Markley had a 9.7 on balance beam, a 9.6 on both the vault and uneven bars, and a 9.475 on floor exercise.

Johnson had a great performance on balance beam to score a 9.65, which was just 0.05 of a point less than Markley, and Johnson was also runner-up on the vault (9.325), third on the floor exercise (9.05) and fourth on the uneven bars (8.65) to lead Fairfield Warde.

Caroline Garrett contributed a third place on the uneven bars (8.75) and a sixth place on balance beam (8.4) for Warde’s Mustangs.

After Fairfield Ludlowe’s Falcons captured their first state championship in the afternoon Session 2, the Class S meet was Session 3 in the evening and St. Joseph placed second behind Daniel Hand, which won with a very good score of 140.45. St. Joseph’s Cadets tallied 133.15.

Lindsay Capobianco placed second on the balance beam (8.8), fourth on the uneven bars (8.55), and fifth on the floor exercise (8.9) and vault (8.65); while Julianna Rizzitelli was third on both the vault (9.05) and balance beam (8.75) to lead St. Joseph.

A week later Woodstock Academy won the State Open with 141.525 points as Markley again won all four events to win the all-around with 38.775 points.

Daniel Hand placed second with 139.575 points while FCIAC teams Fairfield Warde (139.15) and St. Joseph (132.875) placed third and fourth, respectively.

Johnson was runner-up in three events – the balance beam (9.55), uneven bars (9.45), and floor exercise (9.25) – and fourth on the vault (9.1) while placing second all-around with 37.35 points.

Johnson began her successful postseason when she won the Ro Carlucci Award, emblematic of the all-around champion (37.75) at the FCIAC Championships, for the second consecutive season to help Fairfield Warde win the conference championship with 142.8 points.

St. Joseph teammates Capobianco (36.45) and Rizzitelli (36.35) were within 0.10 of a point of each other and placed second and third, respectively, in the all-around to lead St. Joseph to second place (139.15) at the conference championships.

Defending champion Fairfield Ludlowe was third with 137.1 points and was followed by Staples (134.15) and fifth-place Trumbull (134.1).

Johnson, Garrett, Kiera Dawson, Kaia Vadas and Bailey Klein of Fairfield Warde; Luczaj, Golding, Senatore, Gove and Abigail Cerny of Fairfield Ludlowe; Capobianco and Rizzitelli of St. Joseph; Guster and Victoria Fidalgo of Staples; Stamford’s Lauren Heller; Trumbull’s Talia Lalli; and Darien’s Julia Decsi were selected to the 2021-22 All-FCIAC Gymnastics First Team.

The 18 gymnasts on the All-FCIAC Second Team were Lainie Bliss of Fairfield Warde; Caitlin Benson of Fairfield Ludlowe; Katie Nguyen, Emma Moher and Emily Lathlean of St. Joseph; Cody, Sebourne and Pucciarelli of Trumbull; Olivia Mannino, Justine Biersack, Kaylie Berghaus and Teagan Stengrim of Wilton; Seborne and Sofia Alarcon-Frias of Staples; Olivia Perkins and Anna Primmer of Darien; Yee of Greenwich; and Norwalk’s Alyssa Smeriglio.

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