Bethpage Gymnastics Flips Into a New Season


Nora Kerrigan

As Fall slowly comes to an end, winter sports are soon to begin and the Bethpage Gymnastics team is back for a new season.

Since gymnasts on our team range from seventh grade to seniors, the team dynamic differs from other sports. 

Addison Moerler, an eighth grader at JFK comments, “Being on the team as a middle schooler is a great opportunity to learn from the older kids.” 

Last year, the team lost eight seniors, which means drastic changes for lineups on every event. However, head coach Kim Rhatigan is not worried about this because we have underclassmen who are ready to step up. 

She says, “Teams rebuild all the time… we lost so many girls when we split with Plainview and we were able to adapt and come back to have a great season.”


Although most of the vault lineup from last season has graduated, sisters Ashleigh and Adrienne Blonder are expected to be some of the top scorers from Bethpage. Ashleigh has seen huge improvements in her vaults this season and is hoping to increase her score. Junior, Daniella Cross is also the leader on vault. 

Daniella is optimistic about the upcoming season. She says, “We have a really solid lineup…vault is definitely one of our team’s strengths.”


On beam, the team’s main focus is upgrading skills to get bonuses and make routines as clean as possible. A bonus is important because although a tenth of a point may seem insignificant, final scores usually come down to tenths or even hundredths. 

Captain Adrienne Blonder states, “Bonuses raise your starting value which could make or break the team’s final score.” 

Top scores on beam are expected from Brooke Salemi. She says, “It’s definitely big shoes to fill but it’s a great opportunity.”


Almost every girl from our previous floor lineup has graduated, so Coach Kim spends most of her time at practice focusing on making routines for newcomers and improving tumbling skills so routines score the highest they possibly can.

Sophomore, Julianna O’Britis has competed on floor as her main event for the past three years. She says that she is, “Excited to get back to practice and improve routines from last year.”


On bars, everyone is focused on upgrading dismounts. Gabby Klimetis had some of the top bar scores last season. Gabby has a strong gymnastics background, spending 10 years of her life in the competitive gymnastics setting. At practice she often works on the high bar improving her giants and flyaways.

Gabby says she feels some pressure but she’s, “…excited to do well in this season.”

Make sure to come support the BHS Gymnastics team at their first meet of the season on December 12th at Jamaica Avenue Elementary School!