By KEVIN ROBERTS
It wasn’t the easiest week for Southington gymnastics heading into their Jan. 24 meet against Wethersfield at Silas Deane Middle School. The Lady Knights were a bit banged up, and they had been mentally tested by midterm exams.
Coach Cassidy Chamberland told her team prior to the meet that win or lose, she wanted to see improvement.
The Knights did indeed improve, and even though they lost the meet by a score of 130.0 to 123.9, there was plenty to be happy about.
“We’ve had a little bit of adversity this week, but I’m really happy with how they pulled it off,” said Chamberland. “Our team score went up from [the Hall meet].”
Vault continued to be somewhat tough for Southington, which meant that the final score could have been as much as three points higher. The Knights also struggled a little bit on bars, but that doesn’t take away from what they did overall, especially on floor.
“We performed really, really well on floor today. Our girls hit all four routines, so that was really nice to see,” Chamberland said.
Southington scored 32.75 points on floor, with a high of 8.5 from Natalie Reeves. Lizy Beaulieu scored 8.25, Kaylin Leifert had 8.1 and Alexa Caron tallied a 7.9.
“With all of our floor routines, I was really thrilled about how the girls came out and performed those,” Chamberland said. “I was especially happy with Alexa’s floor routine. I told her after her routine that it was the best floor set I’ve ever seen you do. That was awesome, so I was really proud of her for that.”
Southington also excelled on vault, scoring 33.55 points. That score came even with lesser intensity vaults from the Knights. Silas Deane Middle School’s landing area has less give than American Gymnastics, where Southington hosts its home meets, so safety was first priority, according to Chamberland.
“We kind of did our lesser difficulty vaults just because of the landings here,” Chamberland said. “This score hopefully will go up next week when we’re at Glastonbury, because they have a similar landing to us, so we’ll be able to upgrade our vaults.”
Even with lesser difficulty vaults, Southington scored well. Reeves had an 8.6, followed by Leifert with an 8.45, Caron with an 8.4, and Beaulieu with an 8.1 The Knights outscored the Eagles 33.5 to 33 in the event.
Reeves scored an 8.1 on both bars and beam to lead Southington. Her all-around score of 33.3 was tops for the Knights, followed by Leifert (30.85), Beaulieu (30.45) and Caron (29.3). Rylee LeClair scored a 7.4 on vault. Southington scored 29.7 points on beam and 27.9 points on bars.
Up next: The Knights had their Glastonbury meetpostponed on Tuesday. Southington hosts South Windsor and Ellington on Saturday at American Gymnastics. The meet begins at 6:30 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com