Knights break 140: Gymnasts battle to 2nd place at state open

Lexi Rothstein, above, performs beam at the Class L championship meet. On Saturday, March 7, she placed third at the state open championship in New Milford.

Lexi Rothstein, above, performs beam at the Class L championship meet. On Saturday, March 7, she placed third at the state open championship in New Milford.

By BRIAN JENNINGS
STAFF WRITER

NEW MILFORD—A second-place finish for the Southington Lady Knights in the 2015 CIAC State Open gymnastics championships at New Milford High School on Saturday, Mar. 7 secured a spot in the upcoming New England Championships.

“We had a rough start, but we ended really well,” said Southington coach Kaitlyn O’Donnell. “The girls fought really hard this week and I was really proud of them because they worked together as a team.”

The Knights (140.325) finished behind Woodstock Academy (148.300), followed by Daniel Hand (138.600) and New Milford (137.550).

Southington finished second overall on vault (35.625), beam (35.450), and floor (35.700) and third on bars (33.550).

“We did well on floor and vault,” said O’Donnell. “We did well on beam for us today too. We only had one fall, which is huge. It was nice to see them hit. We had three really strong events. Bars were a little weak for us this week. We just didn’t hit that well. We need to clean up a lot of the little things on bars and be more confident.”

With her second place finish in beam (9.225), Rothstein scored the highest of any Knight during the individual competition, and she finished ninth overall in the all-round competition with a score of 35.8.

Marilyn Sporbert finished seventh overall on vault (9.175) and 14th on the floor (9.05).

“Sarah, Marilyn, and Lexi did really well and were very consistent,” the Knights coach said.

Taryn Meenan scored for the Knights on vault (8.675), bars (7.600), and floor (8.875). Vicky Castillo (8.75) and Rachel Williams (8.4) both aided on beam.

Grace Logan (9.55) of Woodstock Academy graced the top of the podium for vault. Taylor Churchill (9.6) of Norwich Free Academy captured first on bars. Paige Stuyniski took home the gold on beam (9.8), floor (9.875), and the all-around (38.7).

The Knights will have a chance to represent Connecticut’s best when they travel to the Pinkerton Academy Field House in Derry, New Hampshire with Woodstock Academy and Daniel Hand to compete in the 2015 New England Interscholastic Girls’ Gymnastics Championships.

“I like New Englands,” said O’Donnell. “It’s a nice relaxed meet. We just go in, see where we place, and do our best. We are still going to do the same type of training. It’s an accomplishment just to get there. We’re just proud that we’ve reached our goal.”

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