Freshman Alexa Calandra -- the reigning Section 1 all-around title-holder -- and her Suffern teammates begin the high school season today at Eastchester, followed by a meet and Thursday against host Mahopac at Lakeview Elementary School.
"I was so proud to be able to represent my school well last year," Calandra said. "I would love to do it again this season."
Calandra, who was also the Journal News Rockland gymnast of the year, comes into the new season as the Section 1 champion in the vault, uneven bars and the floor exercise. She's also the Division II champion in all events.
She's the school record-holder in all four individual events -- vault with a 9.775, bars with a 9.6, balance beam with a 9.6, and on the floor with a 9.85. She's also the school record-holder in the all-around with a 38.6.
But she is not resting on her accomplishments. She has some specific goals in mind.
"I would love to win divisions and sections again," Calandra said. "I want to place top three at states this year."
Calandra is also a team player, and believes that the Mounties can improve on a third-place finish at the Division II championships.
"Tonianne (Magnelli), Sydney (Hiller), and Sami (Iodice) are all looking very good this year, and they have some new skills," Calandra said. "Lindsay Vasilik is back. Also one of our new girls, Ellie (Winograd), is really good. Our team is really starting to come together."
Sansone seeks smoother path: Last year, the end result for Pelham junior Taylor Sansone was a berth on the state championship team. However, the road to get there was not what she hoped for.
"I started off the year really well and then got hurt so I was out for a while," Sansone said. "It was nice that I was petitioned to sectionals. And making states was really great because I never would have expected it after being out."
Sansone, competing as an independent, opens the season Friday when Clarkstown and Tappan Zee travel to Carmel. She's excited to get the season started.
"Practices have been good," Sansone said. "Most of my routines are the same as last year. I've changed one of my floor passes and part of my bar routine."
Check the calendar: With the gymnastics season getting under way this week, a other meets on the calendar before the Christmas break that are noteworthy include Brewster vs. Mahopac at Lakeview Elemenatary School Dec. 20 at 4:30 p.m.; Lakeland/Panas hosting Wappingers at Dynamic Gymnastics on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m.; and the all-Rockland meet Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m at Galaxy Gymnastics.