HYDE PARK – For the second year in a row, the Franklin D. Roosevelt High School gymnastics team honored the life of Katie Filiberti.
On Friday, the Presidents hosted the annual Katie Filiberti Memorial Invitational, with Wappingers, Mahopac and Kingston and New Paltz’s combined team competing.
Mahopac finished first overall, and each of its gymnasts placed first in the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise and all-around events.
But, more so than results, the event remembered a life taken too soon.
“I love that we do this to keep (Katie’s) memory alive and to show joy,” said Linda Filiberti, Katie Filiberti’s mother. “Hopefully they’ll keep this going for a long, long time.”
Katie Filiberti graduated from Roosevelt in 2010 and was a six-year member of the school’s gymnastics team and a New York state meet qualifier in the vault in 2009. She also participated on Roosevelt’s cross country team for two years.
“She was good at (gymnastics),” Linda Filiberti said of her late daughter. “She was better than good at it.”
In 2011, she was murdered by Stephen Shand, a 23-year-old whom she encountered while walking home from a party.
All the proceeds from the event were put towards the Katie Filiberti Scholarship fund. Yonnie Coughlin, who coached Katie Filiberti as an assistant and is Roosevelt’s coach, wasn’t sure how much money was raised this year. Last year, the team raised over $1,900.
“There was amazing community support,” Coughlin said. “So we were really grateful for that.”
Nikki Filiberti, Katie’s younger sister, is a junior and captain for Roosevelt. She competed and placed sixth in the floor exercise with a score of 7.9. The Presidents were divided into two teams: the gold team and the green team. The gold team was sixth with 54.7 points, while the green team was third with 63.1 points.
Likewise, Wappingers was separated into two teams: the red team and the blue team. The red team was fourth (57.4 points) and the blue team was second (64.9 points). Kingston and New Paltz’s combined team was fifth (55.95 points).
Wappingers had four second-place finishers: Kara Vidulich in the vault (8.2), Jocelyn Lichwick in the bars (7.1), Chey Sura in the floor exercise (9.25) and Jessica Healey in the all-around (33).
“They did very well. They’ve been very busy, we had three meets in three days,” Wappingers coach Kim Vidulich said. “I’m proud of them all. “
Roosevelt’s Courtney Femenella was second on the balance beam (7.75) while teammate Dannika Bolitho was third in the all-around (32.1).
“I thought (the tournament) was nice. I thought it was a lot of fun,” Bolitho said. “It was fun to hang out with the girls and everyone was really nice.”
Mahopac’s Cassie Traina was first in the vault (8.35). Teammate Sydney Hughes was first in the balance beam (9.2), Chloe Lee was the bar champion (8.2), Jamison Castrataro was the floor exercise winner (9.4) and Callie Johanson was the all-around top finisher (34.9). Mahopac finished with 70.05 team points.
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports