By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington gymnastics ended the regular season by hosting the CCC Winter Invite this past Saturday at American Gymnastics. Eight teams attended the meet, and it allowed the gymnasts to show off their skills in front of a sizable crowd.
The biggest performer of them all came from Southington, and her name is Natalie Reeves. The sophomore took first among all individual competitors with an all-around score of 35.25.
“Natalie had an amazing competition, hitting four for four on her routines and taking first in the CCC,” coach Cassidy Chamberland said. “She has worked incredibly hard this season and I was just really proud and excited for her to have everything come together for that win. She certainly deserved it.”
Reeves excelled at beam with a score of 8.6, something that really impressed her coach.
“Her beam routine was the best one yet for her this season, and I think that really locked in a win for her on Saturday,” Chamberland said.
Reeves also did well on floor with a solid score of 9.15, her best of the season in that event.
“I look forward to what is to come for Natalie over the next two years,” Chamberland said.
Reeves wasn’t the only reason why Chamberland was happy following the meet. Southington had its highest team score of the season with 126.8 points. The fourth place finish that came from it doesn’t matter as much as the improvement, according to Chamberland.
Chamberland pointed out several positives from the meet: the overall effort of sophomore Lizy Beaulieu; sophomore Kaylin Leifert came back strong following an injury; sophomore Alexa Caron did well on a floor routine; and senior captain Mychele Vaillancourt set the tone with a solid effort on beam.
“I really can’t say enough positive things about how the girls did,” Chamberland said. “They really supported each other through all of the adversity this season and really came together this past Saturday. I couldn’t have asked for a better note to end on.”
Beaulieu scored 8.65 on floor and 8.6 on vault on her way to a 32.15 overall total. Leifert scored 8.5 on vault and 8.0 on floor on the way to 30.4. Vaillancourt scored an 8.2 on vault, 8.1 on floor and 7.3 on beam on her way to a total of 28.2. Caron’s 8.1 on floor helped her finish fourth on the team with a score of 28. Southington’s total score of 34.4 on vault was the best of any team.
Glastonbury finished first with an overall score of 131.9. Conard was second at 131.1, followed by Farmington in third at 128.35. The invitational had to be rescheduled because of winter weather earlier in the season.
“The invitational went great. I think all of the teams had a blast and it was great that we got to reschedule it,” Chamberland said. “It was a supportive atmosphere with teams cheering for one another and everyone giving their best at their last meet of the season.”
Up next: Southington competes in the state championship meet on Saturday at Jonathan Law in Milford at a time to be determined.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com.