Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Holy Angels Ekes out First North 1 Title; State Is Next

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Holy Angels Ekes out First North 1 Title; State Is Next

Article excerpt

RIDGEWOOD — Maggie Kaczmarczyk and her Holy Angels teammates needed to excuse themselves from the room.

The Angels had finished up all four competitions at Saturday's North 1 sectional gymnastics meet and were in the Ridgewood auxiliary gym, watching the host team complete the floor exercises.

Holy Angels' coaches had figured out their score and knew Ridgewood was close enough to challenge them for the No. 1 spot. So Kaczmarczyk and friends returned to the main gym to await the official announcement of team champion – before the Maroons' final floor score was shown.

That led to a most pleasant surprise when it was revealed that the Angels held off Ridgewood, 108.225-108.15, to earn their first sectional title in four seasons as a varsity program. They advanced to the state team finals, which take place at 6 p.m. Thursday in Montgomery.

Pascack Regional (107.35), which edged Ridgewood for the NJGL A Division crown, placed third. The three teams were separated by 0.3 at the Bergen County tournament, where Holy Angels prevailed.

"Our dual meets against them were more nerve-wracking, because I knew how close we were," Angels coach Stacey Shapiro said.

"Counties was a complete shock, we did not expect that. And at leagues, we weren't that close, so we came in to [Saturday] feeling more like and underdog. So we actually didn't feel that stressed out... and when we're more relaxed, we tend to do better."

All-around crown: Holy Angels freshman Faith Furletti followed up her Bergen all-around title by winning sectional gold with a career-best 37.275. Her margin of victory was the same as her team's, 0.075 over Mount Olive sophomore Brittany Wilder.

Furletti claimed silver medals on beam (9.55) and floor (9.45), while her older sister Shannon added points for the Angels on bars (8.9) and floor (9.25).

The elder Furletti is one of the Angels' team captains, along with fellow junior. The latter went in as the defending bars champ and tallied a silver-medal 9.075 despite being hampered by an ankle injury.

"I'm still not doing a full routine, like I did last year," Kaczmarczyk said. "I completely tore a ligament in my right ankle, and then I strained three tendons in my left. …

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