With several key gymnasts back, the Freehold girls gymnastics team set high goals for the program this season.
The Colonials battled through some injuries and found their way during the postseason and almost duplicated their breakout season from a year ago. Coach Katie Pusz knew the challenge to repeat the same success from 2011 was an arduous task but something her gymnasts could conquer.
“Our goal this season was one word – repeat. And for the most part we did. We knew that we were returning all but one key gymnast from last year and that we could do it all again,” said Pusz, who has a career record of 39-2-1 in four seasons. “We took the season one day at a time but always kept the big meets in the back of our minds. The girls worked hard and they treated every meet with the same goal in mind.”
The Colonials went 7-1 overall and 5-1 in Class B North in the regular season to become co-champions with Ocean for the Shore Conference Class B North title.
“Coming into the season we were confident based upon our success from last year but then two injuries hit us. First Jen King was out the first few weeks with her ankle in a boot and then Maria Cusanelli tore a muscle in her shoulder and was out for the season,” Pusz said. “We had a few scares but we still had other girls on the team that stepped up.”
The aforementioned King, Shani Weiss and Jenna Crisalli became the foundation of the team this season after all the injuries and helped the Colonials shine in the postseason. Freehold repeated as Shore Conference, NJSIAA Central 1 sectional champions and came very close to repeating as NJSIAA state champions.