The 2011 Ridge High School gymnastics team is a young team with 11 freshman coming in this year. With only three seniors, the squad is dependant on young gymnasts to succeed, and to build for future years.
One of many bright spots this season is sophomore Daniela Losada. In the opening four meets, Losada led her team in the floor exercise with an 8.8 average score and a team first place every time she competed. She has been scoring 9s on the floor during the last few meets, said the team's head coach, Lauren McManus.
She also led the team on the vault and the beam coming in first three times and second once for each of the two apparatus. Her average score on the vault was 8.46 and a 8.5 on the beam, as of last week.
Losada, whose older sister, senior Bryana, is a captain on the team, has been in gymnastics since she was three years old. "I have been it is a long time. I like tumbling and competing on the floor (exercise)," Daniela said.
About this years' freshman additions, "We nearly doubled in size. We have a lot of spirit and we really support each other a lot. We are good together," Losada said, "It has been good this year."
"Daniela works very hard," said McManus. "She is an ultimate team player and is always looking out for everyone else, not only herself." As a longtime competitor, Coach McManus added, "She has a lot more experience than most girls her age. She is always ready to go and gives everything she has to every routine."
Losada is not looking at any colleges just yet, but "I like math which is kinda weird because most people don't like it," Losada said.
Before last week's match, her best scores were uneven bars, 7.95, on Oct. 3; floor exercises, 9.375, on Sept. 27; balance beam, 9.075, on Oct. 3; vault, 8.65, on Oct. 11; and all around, 34.4, on Sept. 27.
The team's record is reportedly 2-6, after losing to North Hunterdon by a small fraction of a point last Wednesday. The team also reportedly placed 7th of 8 at last Friday's Skylands Conference Tournament.