Pictured here are members of the Nutmeg Twisters' gymnastics squad: (front row) Angelina DeBenedet, Jordan Kim, Annika Bewersdorf, Caroline McDermott, Clara Meyers, Clara Slack, Caroline Kane, Michelle DeFilippo, Karen DeFilippo, and Nicole Tepley; (middle row) Grace Rogers, Alexandria Theel, Marissa Padelli, Mary Huminski, Sara Hutchinson, Katie Lohret, Anna Gwiazda, Julia Gagne, Natalia Ranfone, and Addie Ratti; (back row) Erin Walsh, Lauren Borkowski, Nicole Farrales, Ashlyn Thompson, Kendall Jerzyk, Stefani Taschner, Lauren Hutchinson, Madisen Panagoulias, Melanie Norton, and Schylar Salib. (Photo courtesy of Maria Teresa Lonetti
Nutmeg Twisters' gymnastics has had some successful representation due in large part to rousing performances from Shoreline area athletes.
The United States gymnastics' team of the Twisters consists of 23 girls that compete in Levels 4-10, as all qualified for state competition. Levels four, seven, eight, and nine had their state competitions back in March and April.
Madison's Stefani Taschner, who competes as a Level 9, had an all-around high score of 34.375 (5th) at the Deary's Gymnastics Supply Invitational. Her event scores were 9.225 on vault (4th), 8.0 on uneven bars (6th), 8.4 on beam (3rd), and 8.75 on floor exercise (6th). Taschner qualified for states, but was unfortunately injured three days before competition and had to be scratched from the meet.
The Level 8 athletes for the Twisters consisted of Nicole Tepley of Guilford and Maria Iennaco of Madison. Competing in the state competition, Tepley was named to the Connecticut Regional Team, while Ienacco competed in the Holiday Costume Cup and tied for first on floor with an 8.8 and runner-up on vault with an 8.55.
Level 7 competitors for the Twisters were Madison's Schylar Saliba and Ashlyn Thompson, along with Madisen Panagoulias and Lauren Hutchinson, both of Guilford. Saliba competed at the Holiday Costume Cup with a 35.4 all-around, which was high enough to take third. Saliba's other scores included 9.525 for the vault (2nd), 8.5 on bars, 8.575 for the beam, and 8.8 on floor exercises (3rd). Panagoulias' highest all-around score of the season was a 34.475 at the Deary's Gymnastics Supply Invitational.
Alexandria Theel and Grace Rogers, both of Madison, had all time high scores in the all-around at a meet held on March 17 at the Nutmeg Twisters' facility. Theel, a level six competitor, received a 34.3 and Rogers of the same level earned a 35.75.
Earlier in the year, the Nutmeg Twisters traveled to Parkettes Gymnastics of Allentown, Pennsylvania for an invitational competition. Mary Huminski, a Level 6 of Madison, placed first on beam with a 9.25 and tops on floor with an 8.95, while Katie Lohret, a Level 5 of Branford, had an all-around best this season of a 33.675.
Claire Slack, also of Branford, had her highest all-around score this year with a 35.325 at the Muriel Grossfeld Invitational held at Southern Connecticut State University back in October. Other Level 5 athletes Sara Hutchinson of Guilford, Brooke Kustra of Branford, and Jordan Regan of North Branford, have each received high marks this competition season.
First year competitors Caroline Kane of Guilford and Marissa Padelli of Madison both qualified for states as Level 4 gymnasts. Kane scored a 35.8 at the Holiday Costume Cup and Padelli also received high marks on her routines.
The Twisters' other competitive program, Prep-Op, has 13 competitors, whose ages range from eight to 16 and also excelled on the mat.
East Haven's Angelina DeBenedet saw first on bars, fourth on beam, second on floor, and was the all-around winner for her age group at the Holiday Costume Cup. Nicole Farrales of Madison received high scores during competition this year.
The Twisters' Prep-Op novices had a great year as well with many first-time competitors. Lauren Borkowski of Branford and Jordan Kim of Madison both competed in the Holiday Costume Cup back in March. Borkowski placed fourth on beam and tied for second on floor for her age group, while Kim placed fourth in the all-around. Kim also competed in Twisters' home meet on March 17, placing third in the all-around. Branford's Annika Bewersdorf and Julia Gagne competed in the same home meet, as Bewersdorf finished fourth on bars for her age group and Gagne saw fourth on vault. In that same home competition, Guilford's Anna Gwiazda and Clara Meyers completed stellar showings; Gwiazda placed second on vault and Meyers found the top spot on vault for her age group.
Addie Ratti and Natalia Ranfone, also of Guilford, tied with a 32.2 all-around score at the other home meet of the year held on February 3. Erin Walsh of Guilford, Melanie Norton of North Branford, and Caroline McDermott of Guilford completed a clean swept at the home meet-making them each all-around champions in their respective age groups.
For more information about The Nutmeg Twisters and how to join their gymnastics family, you can check out their web site at TNTgymct.com. Information courtesy of Maria Teresa Lonetti