Suburban Council girls’ gymnastics teams will be heeding to COVID-19 protocols, including competition at two off-campus locations, and competition at staggered times and with no fans in attendance, this winter season.
The YMCA in Wilton and World Class Gymnastics Academy in Latham will be the meet “bubble” sites for Saratoga Springs, Shaker, Guilderland and Bethlehem, and the teams will compete one after another for league dual meets and special year-end events.
“When we host Shaker Friday for our senior night, they will compete at 5 and we will go at 6:30,” Saratoga coach and Section II gymnastics coordinator Deb Smarro said. “We will do it that way for all meets to keep the kids separate.”
This season’s schedule will be capped by an all-around meet Feb. 10 at the YMCA and a Suburban Council championship meet Feb. 14 at World Class. That event will be similar to the Section II championship meet that Saratoga won for the 19th consecutive year in 2020.
All Section II title competitions were called off in early December after all state title events were canceled out of COVID-19 concerns.
“It’s a little disappointing that we won’t be the ones to go for No. 20,” said Sophia Damiano, who, along with fellow Saratoga seniors Ava Dallas and Megan Wishart, will lead a young Blue Streaks cast. “We’ll try to make the season feel as normal as possible. We’ll teach the new kids and become like a family.”
During meets, athletes will be required to wear masks at all times except when they are performing on the floor, vault, balance beam and parallel bars.
Gymnastics is categorized as “moderate” risk by the state health department based on its COVID-19 spread potential, and falls in the same group as soccer, field hockey, baseball and softball.