STAMFORD -- Despite finishing in last place at the FCIAC championships, the New Canaan gymnastics team feels encouraged about its future.

New Canaan was seeded ninth and placed ninth last Friday at Westhill with 85.65 points, falling short to eighth-place Westhill (92.5). Darien (135.85) won and Wilton (131.3) placed second.

"We had a lot of injuries and [junior captain] Alex [Orteig] was injured," Rams coach Anne Tomaselli said. "I was hoping to do better on beam and we had a lot of falls there. Floor and vault were our best events."

New Canaan had its highest score on vault with a 27.7 but had its highest placement on floor exercise (22.05), where it placed eighth. The Rams were ninth on vault, the balance beam (19.5) and on the uneven bars (16.9).

Orteig was New Canaan's top performer with an all-around score of 24.0 to place 25th overall. She had her highest score on vault (7.15), which was followed by floor (6.35), bars (5.65) and beam (4.85).

"I thought we did very well," Orteig said. "A lot of girls who were injured overcame it and competed."

Orteig was one of those girls, and she talked about giving it a go despite the leg injury.

"I feel I did OK," she said. "I could have done better and I knew I could have done better. The leg made a difference and it affected my score on vault and floor."

Junior Sami Haims, who missed most of the season because of health reasons, was in 28th place with an all-around score of 22.2.

"It feels good to be back because I've been gone a long time," Haims said afterward.

Tomaselli said, "Sami has definitely helped us since she returned. She's just getting back her tumbling. For most of us, it's the end of the season but for her, it's the beginning of the season. She's getting stronger and with a full season, she'll be much better next year."

Haims did her best on vault where she stuck a front handspring in scoring a 7.4.

"You have to work hard in practice and you have to keep going at it," Haims said. "You have to keep tight and run very fast."

Her next best event was floor (5.8), followed by bars (4.55) and beam (4.45). She's confident that next year will be better.

"I'm really looking forward to next year," Haims said. "Hopefully, I'll do better. Making the state open is a goal."

Freshman Ellen Hoover had an all-around score of 19.7 to finish 33rd overall.

Hoover did her best on vault (6.55), followed by beam (4.9), floor (4.55) and bars (3.7). Classmate Victoria Gerardi competed on vault (6.6), floor (4.45) and bars (2.5). Junior captain Maria Altamura and senior captain Krista Carmel performed on vault and beam. Altamura scored a 6.25 on vault and a 4.9 on beam and Carmel had a 6.05 on vault and a 4.15 on beam. Junior Lauren Ross tallied a 5.35 on floor and a 4.85 on beam.

Although FCIAC competition is now over, the Rams still have a few more meet left on the slate. They compete at Wilton today and will participate in Ro Carlucci Invitational meet on Saturday to close out the 2010 campaign.