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  • Bears take two, Contino best

    STONINGTON — Abbey Contino won both the vault and all-around to lead Stonington High’s gymnastics team to a double win on Monday.

    Stonington squeezed by Old Lyme 118.95-116.5 in a non-league matchup. Old Lyme (4-3) had beaten Stonington 115.5-105.4 in a quad-meet on Jan. 24.

    Stonington (4-8, 3-2 ECC)also picked up a win against ECC-rival Norwich Free Academy (3-4, 2-2 ECC). The Wildcat squad was depleted by injuries and could not field the requisite four scorers to compile a team score.

    Two gymnasts competed for NFA. Two from East Lyme and one from Waterford competed as individuals.

    “We had one superstar last season (in All-State Megan McNeil),” longtime Stonington coach Leslie Gomes said. “This year we’re balancing with six kids who can score and win in any given event.

    “Abbey (Contino), Grace (McCarthy), Megan (Roberts) have been our core scorers. And Paige (Hackney), Meredith (Hallisey) and Gabby (Gooden) have stepped up big as well.”

    Contino won the all-around competition with a composite score of 30.55 for the four events. She won by one-tenth of a point over NFA’s Quinn Sinay who scored 30.45.

    Contino also won the vaulting event with a top score of 8.45. The junior was fourth overall in both the balance beam (7.0) and the floor exercises (8.0) and fifth on the uneven bars (7.1).

    She said she has been a gymnast since age nine, starting at the ABC club, but no longer competes year-round. She is second in scoring averages for the Bears this season in the vault, bars, floor and all-around.

    “It feels great for our team to win,” Contino said. “We really pulled together. It also was good to win the all-around.

    “I’m strongest in the vault and floor. But the floor is my favorite, because I like to express myself.”

    Teammate Grace McCarthy placed fourth in the all-around with a 30.25. The freshman was runnerup in the floor (8.25) behind senior teammate Paige Hackney (8.50).

    McCarthy also was third in vault (8.40) and eighth in both bars (7.00) and beam (6.60). Hackney also was third in obeam (7.50) and fourth in vault (8.25).

    McCarthy said she has been doing gymnastics for 10 years — the first three at the Westerly-Pawcatuck YMCA and the last seven at the South County Movement Center in Hope Valley. She is currently a Level 7 competitor.

    The freshman leads the team in average scoring in vault, bars, floor and all-around and is second in beam.

    “I do double practices (with the high school and club teams),” McCarthy said. “I think it’s a bit weird being a freshman and leading the team in some events. I’m learning a lot. My best events are the floor and vault. But the floor is my favorite thing. I like the tumbling.”

    Senior Megan Roberts placed eighth in the all-around with a 27.00. She was runnerup in beam (7.8), fifth in vault (8.20) and 10th in both floor (6.8) and bars (4.2).

    Gabby Gooden placed 10th in all-around (25.9). She was fourth in beam (7.0), eighth in floor (7.5), 10th in vault (7.40) and 11th in bars (4.0).

    Meredith Hallisey also scored for Stonington (top four on her team). The junior was third for the Bears and ninth overall in bars (5.8).

    “We did really well,” Gomes said. “Our floor exercises were great — they were enjoying themselves. We got our highest vault score as a team this season. But the bars are hardest for us and we struggled tonight on the beam.”

    The Bears host NFA and RHAM on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.



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