Raiders gymnastics dominates at Cougars Invitational meet

Julia Sassoon

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Raiders gymnastics team attended the annual Cougars Invitational meet at Cranford High School. The Raiders won first place against six other local schools with an overwhelming team score of 109.225. The other participating schools included Westfield, Cranford, Summit, Dayton, Union, and Union Catholic.
This win was an exciting feat for the Raiders. This is the first time the gymnastics team has achieved first place at this tournament in over 15 years. The team is lead by coach Lisa Cerchio and assistant coach Tara Bozetarnik.
“This is my 16th season coaching at Scotch Plains-Fanwood,” Cerchio said. “I’ve coined it my ‘sweet sixteen’ because it has really been an amazing year so far.”
The team was carried by many underclassman members at Cougars. Looking especially strong was freshman Shaylin Farley, who earned first place for all-around.
“Winning Cougars my first year on the team was so exciting,” Farley said. “Winning all-around was an added bonus for me and I am so happy I could contribute to our win as a team.”
 SPF gymnasts stole first place on vault and uneven bars, the top two scores on the floor exercise, and the top three scores on balance beam. 
Many team members owe their success this season to the close-knit team dynamic. 
“Many of us are on the same high school team and club team so we spend tons of time together,” Farley said. “We have a lot of fun but we also work hard. We also have two great coaches who bring out the best in all of us.”
Of course, this win did not come easily. A majority of the gymnasts attend double practices for the high school team as well as their respective club teams. 
“Everyone is constantly practicing and perfecting their skills to perform the best when they compete,” Varsity team captain Emily Grill said.
The Raiders gymnastics team will continue to work towards a triumphant season. The girls will take on a multitude of Union County teams at the counties tournament on Friday, Oct. 18.