The Warwick co-op gymnastics team had a strong showing at the state championships this past weekend at Rhode Island College, finishing second overall in the Class B division.
Warwick enjoyed a successful 2020 season, finishing the regular season in second place overall then taking silver at states.
Despite coming up just short of its ultimate goal, the team boasted its highest score of the year on the big stage.
“They had an amazing day. We didn’t hit every routine but they still scored high and did super well. Consistency-wise, they did what they had to do to maximize their scores. That was our highest of the season which was exciting,” said Warwick coach Candis Kowalik.
Anna De Menezes was Warwick’s highest all-around scorer with 33.58 points, with her highest total coming in the vault with 8.65 points. Kaleigh Catucci finished with a score of 33.4, with her highest total coming in the vault as well at 9.15 points, which was the event’s second-highest score.
Hailey Fera then finished with 33.175 points, followed by Olivia Paquet with 32.65.
Kowalik was especially proud of her seniors that led the way throughout the season and at states.
“My seniors did an excellent job. A week ago we had one of our all-arounders tear her ACL which was a bummer going into states. But the girls kept a great attitude and the seniors led them to a fantastic performance,” said Kowalik, who also felt that her team’s enthusiasm helped set the tone for the event. “We were one of the loudest teams in there and the girls held on to that momentum. They welcomed the competition and the experience, they have such a great bond and they’re only going to build on that. They’re going to carry that forward. As a coach, I told them that I didn’t care about the results as long as they brought their best effort and cheered. They learned how much cheering can affect a meet for both the momentum and the judges.”
Warwick is set to graduate three seniors and will welcome back much of its core from this season. Kowalik believes that another strong finish at states will help provide some momentum heading into next year, and has enjoyed her first year as the program’s coach.
“I couldn’t have asked for more, I’m so proud of them. We improved so much as a team throughout the season. I had no idea what to expect going into it and they helped me so much, it was the perfect transition for me,” said Kowalik. “I hope they’re proud of what they accomplished and I think they are. We had to overcome so many adversities and we overcame all of them.”