Gymnasts win by more than 40 at Farmington; Improve to 4-0

By BRIAN JENNINGS
STAFF WRITER

PLAINVILLE—The Southington Lady Knights gymnastics team was at the Farmington Valley Gymnastics & More LLC Gymnastics Center in Plainville on Saturday night taking on the Farmington Indians.

The TV monitor that displayed the vaulting routines in the center may have been behind, but the Lady Knights were not. They haven’t been all season.

The girls remain undefeated, but have yet to hit the 140-mark on their 2015 season. And the big question remains to be, will they hit it? However, with all of the injuries they have sustained, you have to tip your hat to Coach Kaitlyn O’Donnell and her Lady Knights.

“I think we improved on little things from last week, which I like, but we still have to work on staying on the beam,” said O’Donnell. “I think that’s our biggest problem right now. I think we’ve made as many adjustments as we could with our routines, but we need to have the confidence that we can do our routines. We counted at least four, five, six falls on beam. Once we do that, we will easily be over 140. We were really close to it tonight, too. Aside from that, I thought we fought really well and floor was a good event for us.”

The Lady Knights came so close to reaching the 140-mark, defeating the Indians 139.5-93.1. Lexi Rothstein (35) led the all scorers in the all-around competition. Rothstein (9.1) led the Knights on floor (9.1).

Sarah Leahy (33.2), Taryn Meenan (33.85), and Marilyn Sporbert (34) rounded out the top four in the all-around competition.

Freshman Rachael Williams stood out in the meet and really impressed her coach in the routine that is the biggest concern for the team. Williams (8.7) led the Lady Knights (33.25) in beam.

“She was having a hard time hitting the beam routine and today she hit it for the first time,” said O’Donnell. “I think that was a really big step for her and the same with her floor routine.”

Leahy (8.8) led the Knights on bars. Sporbert (9.15) powered the Knights on vault.

Ashley Cunningham paced the Indians with 25.05 points in the all-around.

For O’Donnell and her girls, trying to hit routines is Southington’s main focus.

“We’re not thinking about what everyone else is doing,” said the coach. “I ask myself if we need to change what we’re doing. I’m thinking about next week, taking it meet by meet. We’ll adjust from there each week as we go. We need to finish out our regular season and start to focus on states.”

With four juniors coming up and three seniors leaving the team after this season, O’Donnell said it’s too early to be thinking about next year’s team.

“I think that next year will be a rebuilding year for us,” she said. “I think it will be a young, but promising team. I think that they work really hard, and I think it’s a little too soon to start thinking about next year. I’m thinking about senior night.”

Next on the calendar for Southington (4-0) is a home meet on Senior Night against the Hall Warriors on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the C.A.T.S. Gymnastics Center in Cheshire. Competition is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.

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