Gymnasts raise the bar in West Hartford



The Lady Knights (4-0) began the week with some stumbles, but managed to maintain their balance with wins over both West Hartford schools away from home and a season-high score.

Southington opened the week on Tuesday, Jan. 12 against Hall (0-2) at Whiting Lane Elementary School in West Hartford where the Knights defeated the Warriors 132.6-105.8.

Rachel Williams picked up right where she left off, and pacing Southington with the best all-around score of 33.15. Williams finished with the best score on floor (8.8) and finished second overall on bars.

Taryn Meenan earned second all-around with a score of 32.9, finishing first on bars (8.1) and tying Kayla Birmingham for second overall on vault. Birmingham achieved third all-around with a score of 32.7, finishing second overall on floor and tying Jessica Kane for second overall on beam.

After competing on vault for the first time last week, Vicky Castillo led the Knights for the first time this season in two events, finishing with the best overall scores on vault (8.9) and beam (9.0).

Southington finished first as a team in all four events.

Two days later, the Knights returned to Whiting Lane Elementary School for act two of the West Hartford rivalry, competing against Conard (0-2). The second time around would prove to be a better meet for the Knights though. Southington defeated the Chieftains, 135.8-110.5, to record their highest score of the season thus far.

This time, it was Meehan guiding the team with the best all-around score of 34.2, finishing first overall on bars (8.2) and third on vault, beam, and floor. Williams backed Meenan with the second all-around score of 33.9, finishing first overall on beam (8.8) and floor (9.0) and second on bars.

Birmingham held the third all-around score again, 33.5, finishing first overall on vault (9.1) and second on floor. Castillo contributed with second-place finishes on vault and beam.

“Tuesday was a little shaky for us, but the girls came back fired up and ready to go on Thursday,” said Southington coach Kaitlyn O’Donnell. “We got our season high and I was impressed with Thursday’s completion.”

O’Donnell also said that she is starting to see change in her girls that are taking on new roles.

“The girls who are competing in all four events are starting to pull everything together now,” the coach said. “It’s awesome to see.”

The Knights will look to stay undefeated when they host RHAM (1-0) on Saturday, Jan. 23.

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