By BRIAN JENNINGS
WETHERSFIELD—The Lady Knights gymnasts showed their love for gymnastics in the Valentine Invitational on Monday, Feb. 16 at the Farmington Valley Gymnastics Center in Plainville. The meet was originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 14, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Southington (140.5) finished first out of eight schools. Glastonbury (130.65) finished in second, followed by Wethersfield (128.9), Farmington (97.5), Branford (68.4), Platt (37.0), Sheehan (33.8), and Rocky Hill (30.0).
The Knights were at the top of the list in all four events.
Marilyn Sporbert led the way with a first place finish in vaulting (9.25) and a tie for second place on beam (8.9).
“I thought that Marilyn did really well overall,” said Southington coach Kaitlyn O’Donnell. “That was a good thing. And Rachel also did really well.”
Sarah Leahy (9.4) paced Southington on bars with a second place finish, and Lexi Rothstein (9.1) led the locals on the floor.
Rothstein (35.4) also led the Knights with an all-around score, followed by Sporbert (34.85) and Taryn Meenan (34.35).
Kamrin Dawkins led Platt with an all-around score of 37.0. Cynthia Lerman of Branford and Taylor Garrey of Wethersfield led with all-around scores of 34.3.
“We had some good points and we had some points that we found we need to work on,” said O’Donnell. “It was the first invitational we’ve actually gone in this year, so I think it was kind of a nice, little warm-up for the state completion next week. We saw where we were lacking our confidence, and that is what we need to work on this week.”
Two days later, the Knights traveled to Silas Deane Middle School in Wethersfield to finish out their regular season with a dual meet against the Wethersfield Eagles (4-2).
Battling illness during the meet, O’Donnell stuck it out to coach and watch her girls defeat the Eagles, 133.95-129.45.
The score might have been the lowest of the season for the Knights thus far, especially after scoring over the 140-mark on senior night against Hall and at the Valentine Invitational. However, O’Donnell was more concerned with the last minutes changes that were made before the meet.
“I put in some of our freshman to give them some experience,” said O’Donnell. “I think we did fairly well. I was really proud of the freshman for getting in there and getting a chance to compete in other events that they haven’t done. I think they stepped up and did well for themselves.”
Freshman Rachel Williams competed for the Knights in bars (6.8), beam (8.6), and floor (8.3). Freshman Kat Rothstein competed in bars (7.5) and beam (8.3).
Meenan led the Knights in vaulting (8.5) and bars (7.8). Sporbert (9.3) led on beam and Lexi Rothstein (9.0, 34.25) led in floor. Meenan led the Knights with an all-around score of 33.55, followed by Sporbert with 33.5.
With the state meet next on the schedule for the Knights, O’Donnell said she feels confident in her girls.
“I know that we have the routines to win,” said the coach. “It’s hit or miss though. If we hit and we’re on, it’s ours, but you won’t know until you get there.”
The Knights look to stay perfect as they head into the state meet this weekend.