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Hewlett High gymnasts are thrilled to compete

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With a combination of virtual and in-person meets, Hewlett’s gymnastics team is thrilled to be competing during these unprecedented times and features a mix of veterans and some newcomers.

And though no spectators are permitted, the Bulldogs can be seen in action through the school’s livestream feed. Sixth-year coach Rina Bronstein, a 2008 Hewlett grad and gymnast in the program, said she’s heard nothing but positive feedback from parents and was told some gymnasts’ out-of-state family members are also tuning in to watch.

“We’ve been doing pretty well and doing a lot of sanitizing,” Bronstein said. “Our first virtual meet was a little strange with just our team and a judge. It wasn’t as intense and almost felt like a practice. The girls were asking how many in-person meets we’re supposed to have because they want that pressure of having an opponent watching.”

Leading the way for the Bulldogs this winter is a pair of returning award winners, sophomore Charlotte Moscovici (Honorable Mention All-County) and senior Layla Ahmad (All-Conference.) Both are in their fourth varsity seasons, Bronstein noted.

Moscovici has competed at the club level for quite some time and performs at the highest degree of difficulty of anyone on the roster. “She’s a very hard worker and is practically like having an extra coach around because she helps her teammates so much,” Bronstein said. “She’s a talented and powerful performer.”

Within the first three meets, Moscovici scored an 8.7 on floor exercise as well as an 8.0 on vault.

Ahmad, who also has club competitions on her resume, is “graceful and passionate in her routines,” Bronstein said. “Layla has always been determined to improve her skills and boost her scores.” On Jan. 25, Ahmad led a victory over Valley Stream by winning the all-around while scoring a high of 7.8 on the balance beam.

Another fourth-year member of the squad, senior Tori Auerbach, has taken her skills up a notch, particularly on the uneven bars, to become a key scorer in all four events. “She’s always been fast, which helps her especially on vault, and she’s become physically stronger over the years,” Bronstein said of Auerbach.

Senior Megan Avdoo didn’t let a growth spurt to 6-feet derail her gymnastics career. She’s the heart and soul of the team’s spirit, Bronstein noted, and a contributing scorer. “It’s not easy being a tall gymnast,” the coach explained. “Megan loves the sport and is so happy to be part of the team. She’s determined to be the best she can be.”

Junior Yannit Rosenthal, in her third varsity campaign, is a tireless worker who excels on bars and beam. Junior Angelina Santos, in her second season, brings tremendous dance skills to a fun floor exercise and is eager to take on new challenges.

Hewlett’s final dual meet is Monday (virtual) at home at 6 p.m.