Hand Gymnastics Returning to Regionals; Zeng Repeats as SCC Diving Champ with New Record
Published March 11, 2015. Last updated 04:50 p.m., March 10, 2015
Hand competed at the State Open on March 7 in New Milford and finished third with 138.6 points, less than 10 points off the winning pace set by Woodstock Academy (148.3), to qualify for the New England Championship on Saturday, March 14 at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire.
"We were happy to have another solid performance and team score and to come out in third place. It will be an honor to represent Connecticut at the New England Championship, along with Woodstock and Southington," said Head Coach Kelly Smith. "We just wanted to come out and have a repeat performance of what we were able to do last week [when Hand won the state title] since we knew it would be another battle with New Milford. We're definitely pleased that we were able to do it again."
Performances included Abby McGuirk (9.125 for vault, 9.3 on bars, 8.9 on beam, 9.3 for floor, 36.625 all-around for 5th); Erin Naclerio (8.8 on vault, 8.65 on bars, 9.15 on beam, 8.4 for floor); Genevieve Geller (8.225 for vault, 8.35 on beam); Noelle Bergere (8.1 on vault); Lily Spencer (8.5 for bars); Erin Maxwell (8.1 for bars); Becca Anderson (8.25 for beam); and Olivia Finke (8.55 for floor). Both McGuirk and Naclerio are First Team All-State this season while Spencer, Geller, Anderson, Maxwell, and Finke made Second Team All-State.
Boys' Swimming and Diving
Hand's Teddy Zeng successfully defended his SCC diving title on March 4 in Hamden at the conference championship diving meet by setting a new event and school record with a score of 627.5. Joey Wolek also dove for Hand and finished 15th (246.25).
"I am so happy and lucky that I could win SCCs again. I haven't thought about the score because I just wanted to try my best to complete each dive," said Zeng. "I just thought about the dive I was about to do and which part of it I should pay the most attention to. I have to thank Joey Wolek and Declan Maloney as they came up to encourage me before and after each dive."
At the SCC Swimming Championship on March 6 at Southern Connecticut State University, Hand finished sixth with 470 points. For the 200 medley relay, the grouping of Connor Miller, Paul O' Connor, Michael Healey, and Nick LaSala was seventh (time of 1:48.01); in the 200 free, Nathan Imbergamo swam to 24th (2:02.79); Healey found 12th for the 200 IM (2:11.00) and also 100 butterfly (59.62); with the 50 free, Greg Rodriguez was 15th (24.17); LaSala raced to 20th (53.03) for the 100 free; O' Connor was 10th with the 500 free (5:06.83); in the 100 backstroke, Miller was 20th (1:05.02); LaSala then paced himself to 11th in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.44); and the 400 free relay squad of Healey, Jack Farricker, Rodriguez, and O' Connor was 11th (3:40.05).
The Tigers had one representative at the New England Championship on March 6 and 7 in Ashton Gyenizs, who went 4-2 overall in the 145-pound bracket. The meet took place in Braintree, Massachusetts. Gyenizs scored a victory by a 4-3 decision in the championship round over Pat Ferzoco of Catholic Memorial, Massachusetts. In the consolation bracket, he pinned Nashua North, New Hampshire's Wayne Nolette at 2:25; Sam Herbert of Marshwood, Maine (pin at 0:16); and Dominic Hahr of St. Johnsbury, Vermont (by pin at 1:36).
The Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League held their annual Shoot Out competition at Mount Southington to build this year's Team Connecticut. The team is made up of the top 12 girls and top 12 boys from a field of over 100 racers.
Carly Fischer and Melanie Rennie were among the top 12 girls' finalists and went on to represent Connecticut in the Eastern High School Championship Competition at Cannon Mountain in Freconia, New Hampshire on from March 6 to 8.
Several Tigers' racers qualified and competed as individual participants against other teams from around the state in the State Open that was held at Mount Southington on March 3. Those athletes are Fischer, Rennie, Hannah Walton, Ryan Garb, Jeremiah Mead, Jared Newton, and Shane Sweitzer.
Hand competed in the Individual State Championships on March 7 at Hopkins. Kyle Welch finished tops in boys' foil while Chloe Moulin was runner-up for the girls' foil competition. Both Welch and Moulin earned First Team All-State. Elsewhere in boys' foil, Ryland Chin was 31st and Ben Stopka finished 47th. Alina Dess was 20th in girls' épée while boys' épée saw competitors in Sam Soroko (57th), Dan Iazor (60th), and Tim Hake (64th).
For the Coed State Championship on March 6 in New Haven, the Tigers finished as the runner-up out of 17 squads with 156.8 points to champion Lyman Hall (166.2). Back on Feb. 7, Hand captured its first SCC title with a victory in the Coed Division.
Hand drew the No. 14 seed in the Class L State Tournament and hosted No. 19 Kaynor Tech (11-9) on March 10 in a first round matchup. A win there would put the Tigers (12-9) into the second round either at No. 3 and SCC champion Career (21-3) or hosting No. 30 Bulkeley (9-11) on Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m.
Boys' Ice Hockey
Hand went 6-12-2 for the regualar season, drew the No. 14 seed in the Division II State Tournament, and took on No. 3 seed and conference rival Branford (16-5-1) on March 10 in the first round. A win there would push the Tigers into the quarterfinals on Friday, March 13 at either No. 6 Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe (14-6-0) or No. 11 Milford (10-9-1)