Thomas Jefferson gymnasts again take 2nd at WPIAL meet

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Friday, February 23, 2018 | 11:00 PM


Thomas Jefferson's gymnastics team won a section title and finished as the WPIAL runner-up in 2017.

Fast forward one year, and the results are the same. The Jaguars recently earned their second consecutive section title and again placed second in the WPIAL.

TJ finished second by the narrowest of margins — one-tenth of a point — as Moon won its second crown in a row and fifth in seven years with a 148.05 point total.

The Jaguars ended up with 147.95 points.

“The WPIAL team championship was loud and crazy,” coach Jodi Cummings said. “Our TJ girls could not have performed any better. These kids gave it their all and had a fantastic meet. They deserved to win.”

Thomas Jefferson carded the top mark on the uneven bars, and finished second to the Tigers in the other three events: vault, balance beam and floor exercise.

“We had a great all-around performance as a team,” sophomore Natalie Galioto said. “We have all improved so much since the beginning of the season. We started off with a solid vault rotation, and ended with some of our best floor performances.”

All five gymnasts on last year's team returned this season, and the Jaguars added five girls to the roster.

The veterans were sophomores Demi Kondos, Natalie Moore and Galioto, plus juniors Courtney Kelley and Angelina Gambino.

The next day, at the WPIAL individual finals, Kondos and Galioto tied for second all-around in the advanced division with 37.875 scores.

“Demi and Natalie had a fantastic meet,” Cummings said. “They looked so confident and were having fun on every event.”

Kondos logged season-best marks on the bars (9.525), beam (9.4) and floor exercise (9.575), to go with her 9.375 on vault. Her all-around point total was a personal-best performance.

Galioto posted marks of 9.5 on vault, 9.55 on bars, 9.35 on beam and 9.475 on floor. Her personal-best all-around score is a 38.05, achieved earlier this season.

“I was thrilled to end the day (at the WPIAL meet) taking second all-around,” Galioto said.

Also for TJ, Moore placed second on the vault and fifth all-around. Kelley secured sixth on bars and seventh on beam.

Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.

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