The St. Francis Preparatory School gymnastics team has become a powerhouse.
On Friday, October 25, the team swept all events at the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) championships to win its third consecutive title. Junior Khayla Martinez and senior Nicole Donini led the team and finished first and second in the individual showcase. Senior Madison Kolnsberg won first place in the individual junior varsity championship, as well.
“I’m extremely proud,” head coach Kamla Modi said. “It’s a very good feeling, not just to win, but to see their hard work pay off.”
The last time the Terriers’ won the title, before the current championship streak, was in 1994.
Modi credits their recent success to many players’ out of season training in private gyms. This helps the players to improve consistantly throughout the year, rather than just training at St. Francis, during the short gymnastics season.
Top gymnast Martinez has been training in gyms since she was very young. Coincidentally, Modi, herself remembers training in the same gym as Martinez, who was only four-years-old at the time.
“Now I’m coaching her at the high school level,” Modi said. “It’s great just to see her grow from a little girl, bouncing around the gym to a fanatic gymnast.”
Martinez has won the individual championships two years in a row and Modi is confident she’ll win the title again next year. Also, with just four of the 17 team members graduating this year, most of the championship team will be back for the 2014 season.
Modi said most of the girls have returned to their gym outside to train for that fourth consecutive crown.
“After year three we have to keep it going,” Modi said. “As long as we are the best, we can’t fall short.”