NEW MILFORD -- Newtown, New Milford and Nonnewaug all came into the SWC gymnastics championships thinking about winning a title, but only the Nighthawks went home happy.
Newtown finished with 129.050 points while New Milford was right there in second at 128.850. Nonnewaug, led by all-around champion Jenna Rinaldi, finished third with 126.350 points.
"The girls did awesome today and I am just really proud of them as a team," first-year Newtown coach Keristen Raccio said. "We knew it was on the line coming in and that it would be close. We had a lot of girls give great efforts and we were able to pull it out."
Both Newtown and New Milford won two events each. The Nighthawks were tops on the beam and bars while the Green Wave won the beam and floor. The difference really came down to the beam, where Newtown was second, just .05 off of New Milford's total of 30.05.
"We were really aiming for first place and they got us by point two," New Milford coach Bethany Mihaly said. "It came down to a couple things. We were on the bars last and made a few errors and everybody except one kid fell on beam. We had kids fall two, three times on beam. I told them, we win as a team and lose as a team."
Each of the top three teams were paced by one standout performer. Rinaldi won the all-around title with 35.650 points with Wallace right behind at 35.40. New Milford's Alison Profeta was third, just .5 back at 35.150. Rinaldi also won the bars and tied for first on the floor exercise with Profeta (9.25) en route to being named the meet's MVP.
Wallace was first on the vault and third on the floor while also coming in second on the bars and fifth on the beam.
"She's amazing, she's our captain and I'm really excited for her," Raccio said. "I really think she can finish the season on a high note and I am hoping she can put it all together and make it to senior nationals."
"I had three nines which is really good for me," Wallace said. "
Despite coming up just short in the race for the all-around title, Wallace was focused on the accomplishments of her team after coming up just short last season. With strong performances by Kaitlyn Tumney, Jenny Indelicatto, Cameron Vasquez, Anna Jannott, Elisha Wilson, Daisy Cheng and Meaghan Foy, the Nighthawks were able to capture the team title.
"It's incredible. Last year we came in third and we were really excited for this meet and we were focused on winning a title for our school," Wallace said. "We all wanted to do our best and we had a goal of winning the championship so it's really exciting."
Rounding out the top six in the team competition was Joel Barlow in fourth (123.050) followed by Pomperaug (120.950) and Oxford (104.500). In the all-around, Ali Forger of Masuk finished fourth (33.150) and Natalie Hassett (Weston), Maya James (Pomperaug) and Megan Sapack (Pomperaug) tied for fifth at 32.850.
SWC GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Team Scores: 1. Newtown 129.050; 2. New Milford 128.850; 3. Nonnewaug 126.350; 4. Joel Barlow 123.050; 5. Pomperaug 120.950; 6. Oxford 104.500.
All-around: 1. Jenna Rinaldi (Nonnewaug) 35.650; 2. Leah Wallace (Newtown) 35.400; 3. Alison Profeta (New Milford) 35.150; 4. Ali Forger (Masuk) 33.150; T5 Natalie Hassett (Weston), Maya James (Pomperaug), Megan Sapack (Pomperaug) 32.850.
Vault: 1. Leah Wallace (Newtown) 9.10; 2. Alison Profeta (New Milford) 9.00; T3. Jenna Rinaldi (Nonnewaug), Alyssa Pretka (Oxford) 8.80; 5. Natalie Hassett (Weston) 8.55; 6. Alex Charest (Nonnewaug) 8.50.
Bars: 1. Jenna Rinaldi (Nonnewaug) 9.20; T2. Leah Wallace (Newtown), Alyssa Pretka (Oxford) 9.00; T4. Natalie Hassett (Weston), Olivia Fox (Masuk) 8.85; T6. Alison Profeta (New Milford), Isabel Williams (Nonnewaug) 8.80.
Beam: 1. Ali Forger (Masuk) 8.45; 2. Jenna Rinaldi (Nonnewaug) 8.40; 3. Megan Sapack (Pomperaug) 8.30; 4. Alyssa Grioli (New Milford) 8.25; 5. Leah Wallace (Newtown) 8.20; 6. Alison Profeta (New Milford) 8.10.
Floor: T1. Jenna Rinaldi (Nonnewaug), Alison Profeta (New Milford) 9.25; 3. Leah Wallace (Newtown) 9.10; 4. Maya James (Pomperaug) 8.60; 5. Kenzie MacFarland (Masuk) 8.50; 6. Ashley O'Berry (New Milford) 8.40.