By BRIAN JENNINGS
Coming into the Class L Championship, Lady Knight coach Kim Vaillancourt said that they were looking to improve their seventh seed and average score of 127.93, and that’s just what the Lady Knights did. They placed sixth with a score of 126.1 out of eight teams on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Pomperaug High School in Southbury.
“I think they did their best,” said Vaillancourt. “They put it all out there.”
Vaillancourt said that the team focused and spent the majority of their time on cleaning up their sets in their routines and trying to stay on the beam in preparation for the state meet.
“They did what they were asked to do,” said Vaillancourt. “We came in seventh and left in sixth. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Southington’s highest score came on vault with a 32.75, and according to the head coach, it came as no surprise. The Knights have been pretty strong in the event all season.
“We’re really starting to learn how to block and have the right shape, which is increasing our score,” said Vaillancourt.
Southington’s highest score was on vault had a large influence on Natalie Reeves. She marshalled the Knights with a 32.475 as one of two Southington gymnasts in the all-around competition, posting her highest mark on vault with an 8.275. Vaillancourt said that she saw a good form on Reeves’ vault that she’s seen all season.
“She knows how to control her muscles,” said Vaillancourt. “That way, she has the correct form for whatever event she’s on.”
Reeves also led the team on bars (8.2) and beam (8.0). She competed a new dismount for the first time this season, increasing her start value with a full layout.
Rachel Williams backed Reeves with a 30.775 in the all-around competition, placing highest on vault as well with an 8.1.
“She had a good vault,” said Vaillancourt. “It was a good handspring half. She had a good block, which gave her the better score.”
Kat Rothstein led Southington on floor with an 8.05.
Greenwich (145.425) edged Trumbull (140.9) by over four and a half points to win their third-straight (3rd overall) CIAC Class L title. Fairfield Ludlowe (134.5) finished third. Adnerys De Jesus of Greenwich led all gymnasts in the all-around competition with a 38.975, scoring a 10.0 on vault.
Reeves (bars), Williams (floor), and Rothstein (beam) will return to Pomperaug High School to represent Southington at the state open on Saturday, Mar. 3. The meet is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
Reeves is ranked 28th on bars with an average score of 8.475. Williams’ petition to compete on floor was accepted, as she comes in with an average score of 8.65. Rothstein is ranked 27th on beam with an average score of 8.575.
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.