Monday, September 27, 2021

Sports

H-K/Morgan/Hale-Ray Co-op Wins Shoreline Gymnastics Title

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The Haddam-Killingworth/Morgan/Hale-Ray co-op gymnastics team took first place at the Shoreline Conference Championship. Pictured from the squad are Abby Watkins (H-K), Katrina Tozier (Hale-Ray), Quinn Beisel (Hale-Ray), Rebecca Rosenblum-Jones (H-K), and Juliana Gagliardi (H-K). Missing from the photo is Megan Cafferty (Morgan). Photo courtesy of Monica Bauer

The Haddam-Killingworth/Morgan/Hale-Ray co-op gymnastics team took first place at the Shoreline Conference Championship. Pictured from the squad are Abby Watkins (H-K), Katrina Tozier (Hale-Ray), Quinn Beisel (Hale-Ray), Rebecca Rosenblum-Jones (H-K), and Juliana Gagliardi (H-K). Missing from the photo is Megan Cafferty (Morgan). (Photo courtesy of Monica Bauer)

The Haddam-Killingworth/Morgan/Hale-Ray (H-K/M/H-R) co-op gymnastics team brought home the gold when it competed at the Shoreline Conference Championship last week. In a three-team competition, the Cougars edged out Valley Regional to claim the conference crown at ABC Gymnastics in Niantic on March 21.

H-K/M/H-R finished with 125.40 points at the Shoreline Conference Championship, placing ahead of runner-up Valley Regional, which posted a score of 121.20. Coginchaug came in third with a score of 33.95. The Cougars earned first place in every event on their way to winning the league title.

The athletes on the H-K/M/H-R co-op squad are sophomore captain Juliana Gagliardi of H-K, sophomore Megan Cafferty of Morgan, H-K sophomore Rebecca Rosenblum-Jones, H-K freshman Abby Watkins, and Hale-Ray freshmen Quinn Beisel and Katrina Tozier.

Gagliardi finished in first place for the all-around with a total score of 34.25 at the Shoreline meet. Gagliardi took first place on the beam with a score of 9.45, finished tied for first on floor with an 8.6, placed second on the vault with an 8.5, and took third for the bars by scoring a 7.7. Gagliardi earned All-Shoreline Conference First Team honors and also solidified a spot on the All-State First Team.

Head Coach Monica Bauer, who also coaches Valley Regional, was quite impressed with Gagliardi's performance at Shorelines. In fact, Coach Bauer is impressed with everything that Gagliardi brings to the table for the Cougars.

"Julianna is a USA Gymnastics Level 9 athlete. She's very well-rounded, and she's been competing in gymnastics for a very long time," said Bauer. "She's a great athlete, but also a great role model for her teammates. She's a mature, responsible young lady, and I can't say enough good things about her."

Rosenblum-Jones also put forth a stellar performance for H-K/M/H-R at the Shoreline Championship. The freshman finished in first place on bars with a score of 8.5 on her way to placing third all-around with a total of 32.4. Rosenblum-Jones also came in third place for the beam and fifth for the vault to help the Cougars grab the gold.

"We have a very young team, and Rebecca is one of our most exciting athletes to watch," Coach Bauer said. "She's got some really good skills, and I'm excited to see her compete the next three seasons with our team."

Morgan sophomore Cafferty was the first-place finisher on the vault with her score of 8.6. Cafferty also took third for the floor and finished fifth on the beam

en route to claiming fifth place all-around with a final score of 30.25.

H-K freshman Watkins also competed for the team at Shorelines. Hale-Ray's freshman duo of Beisel and Tozier competed, as well, with Tozier placing fourth on the floor with a 7.6.

Coach Bauer was not only glad that H-K/M/H-R won the Shoreline title, but she also feels happy about that fact that her young club is slated to bring everyone back next year.

"I'm excited to watch the team grow and develop next season," said Bauer. "It will be fun to watch their competitive nature come alive when we can compete more in person next season. Well, at least that's the hope. They are all great kids and hard workers. I am looking forward to a longer season with more competitions."

Overall, H-K/M/H-R enjoyed a stellar campaign that featured minimal setbacks. One athlete had to quarantine at one point during the season, but the Cougars continued to battle hard all year long. The only teams that H-K/M/H-R competed against this season were Valley Regional, Old Lyme, and Coginchaug. Since Bauer coaches both Valley and the H-K/M/H-R co-op, those teams were able to practice together throughout the year. The Cougars had five-regular season meets and posted a record of 5-0 in those competitions before capturing the Shoreline Conference crown.

"It was a pretty good season, all things considered. One of our athletes had to quarantine, which was frustrating for them, but it went well overall," Bauer said. "It was totally different than what we're used to. We wore masks during all competition and practices, and we cleaned a lot more than what we typically do. After every athlete performed, we would sanitize the area. The girls were great about it and didn't complain. They were just happy to be competing."


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