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Friday, October 31, 2014
Valley Stream gymnasts set the bar high
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“Imani is an amazingly hard-working young lady who is pretty much fearless,” Valentino said. “She’s ready to try anything and is ready to work really hard at new tricks or skills because she wants to excel. It’s exciting to know that she’ll be on our team for three more years.”

Valley Stream also saw a great performance from Central High School senior Desiree Chase at the Conference II invitational. Chase, a co-captain, finished in the top 10 in the vault competition.

She joined the team when it started four years ago and said she always wanted to do gymnastics as a child, but couldn’t find a place to practice until the district created a team. “We’re like a family,” she said of her teammates. “We share everything. It works as if we were all from the same school.”

At a meet in Roslyn last month, Valentino found a way to respect her girls more than ever before. After winning the meet and setting a team-high record of 135.85 points, the girls didn’t celebrate their accomplishment right away. Showing good sportsmanship, they waited until they got on the bus home to celebrate so they weren’t disrespectful to their opponents. Valentino said she didn’t ask the girls to hold their celebratory screams; it was something they thought to do on their own.

“All these girls were so hardworking, respectful and such great teammates to each other,” Valentino said, “that they realized for us to be successful, we had to work together.”

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