Wilton senior Chelsea LeVander has been named MSG Varsity's female FCIAC Athlete of the Week for Feb. 26-March 3 by a panel of athletic directors and MSG Varsity reporters. LeVander finished second in the all-around at the CIAC State Open Gymnastics Championships last weekend, placing no lower than fourth in all four events while compiling an all-around score of 37.5. LeVander placed second in the floor exercise (9.525), third in the balance beam (9.2) and vault (9.4), and fourth in the uneven bars (9.375). It is the second Athlete of the Week honor for LeVander, who won the award last month after her third consecutive FCIAC all-around championship.
What's your biggest athletic goal for 2012?
LeVander: "This is a really big year for me. One of my goals was to finish off the year healthy and as strong as I can. Another was to make captain, and now I'd love to get to nationals."
Who is your favorite teammate and why?
LeVander: "I'd have to say my entire team. There are a few girls who I can really count on, and I just love the team so much."
What's the best piece of advice you've received?
LeVander: "Tom Jagelka, a longtime coach of mine at the Y, has set goals for me and we've basically been checking them off the list. Something he said to me was believe in yourself. That's helped me have faith in what I do."
Which athlete is your biggest influence?
LeVander: "Shawn Johnson, and not just because she's an Olympic gold medlaist. I got a chance to meet her, and she's a genuinely good person and adorable. Plus she's about 4-foot-9, so that makes me look tall at 5-feet."
What's your proudest accomplishment away from the game?
LeVander: "I have a little cousin who has Down syndrome and that's pushed me to get more involved in the community. I've been working with the Special Olympics program and also Friends and Buddies at the Y. It's been very rewarding."