By BRIAN JENNINGS
CHESHIRE—Flowers were exchanged and pictures were taken by parents, families, and friends. The seniors gave their coach big hugs, revisiting the recollections of success they have built together throughout their four years.
Saturday night, Feb. 7 was senior night for the Lady Knights gymnastics team at the C.A.T.S. Gymnastics Center in Cheshire. The Knights (5-0) remained undefeated by defeating the Hall Warriors 143.15-117.85, breaking the 140-mark for the first time this season.
“We work really hard and these girls have worked really hard for four years,” said Southington coach Kaitlyn O’Donnell. “It’s nice to have a celebration for them. They worked their butts off this past week, since our last meet, and they deserve the score that they got tonight.”
“What makes the seniors so special is their experience,” said the coach. “On this team we need the leadership, and they have the leadership. They’ve been through a lot in the last four years. So it’s nice to them come together through the injuries and everything. I’m very proud of them.”
But there was also something else that made O’Donnell smile all the more. “I think we finally pulled everything together,” the coach said. “It took five meets, but we finally hit beam for once. We didn’t count any falls, which was good for us. In vault, we had a little mishap with a few falls, but all-in-all it was a good meet for us.”
O’Donnell was particularly impressed with senior Marilyn Sporbert (9.0), who led the Knights (34.65) in vault. “I think she was confident today,” said O’Donnell. “She hit everything. She hit her floor, bars, beam, and vault. And she actually upgraded her tumbling pass, which was good for her too.”
Senior Lexi Rothstein led the Knights with an all-around score of 35.25. Senior Sarah Leahy (35.7), Sporbert (35.05), and Taryn Meenan (33.35) contributed with all-around scores as well. Jamie Hodge (34.2), Rachel Pinsky (29.6), and Emma Brody (25.95) led the Warriors with all-around scores.
Rothstein also led her team in bars (9.4), beam (9.55), and floor (9.15).
Even though the Knights totaled their highest score thus far this season, O’Donnell said that she believes her girls have to continue with the same mindset.
“Well, we have to be able to do that again,” chuckled the coach. “I think we just need to carry through the confidence and stay fired up for the rest of the season.”
The Knights look to stay strong and keep the love going at the Valentine Invitational in Plainville this on Saturday.