Young Bomber gymnasts are working hard on mats

The Sayreville War Memorial High School gymnastics team may be off to a slow start, but coach Denise Marsch said her athletes are steadily improving with each meet and practice session.

“For us, the main thing is learning and getting better,” Marsch said.

“I’ve seen that in their performances, and even though we’re not winning, the girls are working hard and having fun.”

The coach credited the leadership of co-captain Allyson Trapp with helping her team stay focused.

An all-around performer who missed most of last season with a back injury, Trapp has developed into a strong team leader. She excels on the balance beam but has done well in all four events, Marsch noted.

Junior Natalie Battafora is the Bombers’ other co-captain. Battafora, also an all-around performer, leads by example and is always testing her limits, Marsch said.

Cindy O’Hara, another junior, performs the floor exercise and on the balance beam, while sophomore Nicole Inganamorte performs the floor exercise and vault.

Marsch has been pleased with the work of a pair of freshmen, Kayla Ogorek and Shivani Shah. Ogorak is working on the parallel bars and also performs on the balance beam and in the floor exercise, while Shah has primarily performed floor exercise.

“We’re at the point where the girls are working on things and trying new things in their routines,” Marsch said.

“It’s very pleasing to see them put a move into a routine and then make it work. They get so excited, and so do I. We have a great group of girls. They’re very respectful of each other and their opponents. I really enjoy working with them.”

— Warren Rappleyea