‘Pink’ unites American Gymnastics

American Gymnastics team members pose with 2012 Olympian McKayla Maroney at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

American Gymnastics team members pose with 2012 Olympian McKayla Maroney at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The Level 3-10 girls at American Gymnastics Training Center in Plantsville competed in the Pink Invitational at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia over the weekend of Feb. 26-28.

The event is held annually and brings gymnasts from all over the country together, in order to raise awareness and funds for “Unite for HER.” The organization uses 100 percent of funds raised to give wellness, care, and grants to those affected by breast cancer. This year, AGTC came in sixth, raising over $9000.

Each team that competed in the invitational united with one another by wearing pink leotards and costumes. For every score earned of a 9.0 or higher, the gymnast was given a pink ribbon to hang on the perimeter of the competition. And for each ribbon awarded, a dollar was donated.

Special guest Olympian McKayla Maroney congratulated the girls and took pictures with the gyms that raised the top donations.

The Level 3 team placed second overall with a score of 111.80, led by Lauren Golioto, 8, of Cheshire. Lauren took first on floor (9.575) and finished third all-around (36.775).

Olivia Smailes, 10, of Southington took first on bars (9.535) and beam (9.50). Alex Scarlett, 10, of Avon placed second on beam, and finished third all-around (36.725). Alexis Taylor, 9, of Berlin placed second on bars and finished fourth all-around (36.600). Kaelyn Fitzgerald, 8, of Cheshire took first on bars (9.375) and finished fifth all-around (36.575).

Sara Dreschler, 10, of Southington placed third on beam. Kelsey Salerno, 10, of Southington took first on floor (9.725). Kaylin Sweeney, 9, of Cheshire, placed fourth on beam. Caiya Newinsky, 9, of Cheshire placed seventh on bars and eighth on floor. Chloe Crespo, 8, of Cheshire placed third on beam. Giavanna Crea, 9, of Wolcott placed second on floor. Camryn Rader, 7, of Wolcott placed 10th on floor. Cate Morgan, 8, of Southington finished 13th all-around (34.575).

The Level 5 team placed third with an overall score of 109.80.

Kira Strauss, 10, of Cheshire paced the Level 5 gymnasts, finishing first all-around (37.30), taking home the gold on vault (9.375), bars (9.40), and floor (9.525). Tia Guay, 12, of Southington placed finished fourth all-around (36.35).

Samantha Rogers, 10, of Southington also finished fourth all-around (35.75), placing second on floor. Lindsey Catlin, 11, of Southington finished second all-around (35.325). Isabella Guay, 10, of Southington placed second bars (9.35) and finished fifth all-around (35.15). Olivia Donis, 11, of Southington took first on bars (9.325).

Level 6 Katie Hick took first on floor (9.75). Kayla Paparazzo received the honor of tying a pink ribbon for scoring a 9.15 on floor.

The Level 7 team placed first overall with a score of 112.55. The team was led by Dori Madancy, 10, of Wallingford and Maisyn Rader, 10, of Wolcott. Maisyn tied for first all-around (37.225). Moe Gessman, 11, of Cheshire took first on floor (9.825) and vault (9.35). Adele Hong, 11, of Wethersfield tied a ribbon for her score of 9.0 on bars.

Megan Crean, 11, of Cheshire won her age group with a score of 37.075. Kelly Perotti, 12, of Cheshire took first on beam (9.475). Gabby Miller of Meriden placed third on floor. Katherine Dreschler, 13, of Southington placed fifth on vault. Stephanie Silin of Cheshire finished third all-around (33.95).

Level 8 Sarah Hogan, 15, placed second on bars and finished third all-around (35.125). Sienna Breton, 14, of Cheshire took first on floor (9.15). Briana Paparazzo, 15, of West Hartford finished 10th all-around (32.60).

The Level 10 team placed third overall. Kaitlyn Bertola, 14, of Southington placed fourth on beam. Emma Delia, 15, of Newtown tied a ribbon for scoring a 9.025 on vault and a 9.05 on floor. Tisha Donlon, 14, of Cromwell placed fourth on vault.

The AGTC team will return to the Pink Invitational next year and will look to top their funds raised from this year.

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