Category Archives: Gymnastics

All-Area Gymnast of the Year: Emily Shugan, Bridgewater-Raritan

Bridgewater-Raritan's Emily Shugan is the Courier News Gymnast of the Year. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

Bridgewater-Raritan’s Emily Shugan is the Courier News Gymnast of the Year. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

The night before the Somerset County Tournament Championship in early October, Bridgewater-Raritan High School gymnast Emily Shugan got the go-ahead to resume competing in all-around.

Shugan had been limited with an ankle injury since August, and was working out with her club coach on the eve of the SCT. It was at that time when Shugan began going through her routines on all four events again, in preparation of helping Bridgewater-Raritan down the stretch of the season.

“I did routines the night before counties and I didn’t expect to do well at all,” Shugan said. “I got to the meet and Coach [Julie] Zaneto said I was only going to do bars and beam. She told me that I could do vault if I felt up to it.”

After notching her best score of the season on the vault, the first event that the Panthers competed on that night, Shugan began to believe she made the right choice.

“On bars, I did much better than I expected and the meet was going pretty well, so I did beam and I figured I’d just do it to do it, and it was the best beam routine I had ever done,” Shugan said. “I saw I had a good all-around going, so I asked if I could do floor. I hadn’t planned on competing on it, so I had like 30 seconds to warm up and it didn’t go well at all, I fell on my back and it was terrible.”

After winning the bars (9.500) and beam (9.550) and coming in second on vault (9.375), Shugan was awarded a first-place tie for the all-around title with Hillsborough’s Sarah Pallay.

“It was a complete surprise for me,” she said. “I was basically getting back into the game and I won in my first time doing all-around all season.”

Shugan also finished first at all-around in the NJSIAA Central II sectional meet and qualified for the state individual championships. She is the Courier News Gymnast of the Year.

Shugan, who said she’s headed to the University of Pennsylvania to continue her gymnastics career, made it to the state individual meet all four years at Bridgewater-Raritan. She said she had no nerves at big events, instead reveling in the excitement of being with all of the other elite gymnasts in the state.

“Everyone brings out harder skills and it’s fun to see everyone’s upgraded routines,” Shugan said. “Going into the individual events, I take the pressure off a bit and I just go in and have fun.”

She certainly had fun on Nov. 9, as Shugan’s all-around score of 37.175 won the Central II sectional. Shugan won the vault (9.600) and handled the pressure as well as she had hoped.

“Everyone wants to win that meet, and for me, sectionals is the one meet over the course of a season when you can determine who can handle pressure well and who can’t,” she said. “You have one chance to get to states and you see the craziest results, but I put it all together and it was exciting when they called my name as the winner.”

A 14th-place finish in the final meet of her high school career in the individual competition, with a fifth-place performance on the bars (9.500), capped a great career for Shugan last month.

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Courier News All-Area Girls Gymnastics Coach of the Year: Johanna Snedeker, Montgomery

In this her 21st season at the helm of the Montgomery High School gymnastics team, head coach Johanna Snedeker thought it would be a memorable year. What she didn’t know is that it’d be on to remember forever.

Montgomery captured its first Somerset County Tournament title, narrowly edging Bridgewater-Raritan by 0.100 on Oct. 2.

“We knew this was going to be a good year, so we took it one meet at time.” Snedeker said. “Winning that championship was really big for us; we peaked on that night and I’m really proud of the girls.”

Snedeker is the Courier News’ Coach of the Year.

Senior Zoe Zyvith set the school record for career points and both Renee Mallick and Audrey Warner qualifed for the State Individual Championships as Montgomery went 8-4. The Cougars finished fourth at the Skyland Conference Championships in late October to cap their team slate this fall.

“I thought the girls were very good in all aspects of gymnastics this season; from time management to unity,” she said. “They’re not going to remember the wins and losses, but the feelings and memories will be things they hold onto forever and that’s something I’m proud of.”

HOME NEWS TRIBUNE ALL-AREA GYMNAST OF THE YEAR: Julianna Drapkin of Bishop Ahr

Julianna Drapkin of Bishop Ahr is the All-Area Gymnast of the Year. Photo by: Robert Ward

Julianna Drapkin of Bishop Ahr is the All-Area Gymnast of the Year. Photo by: Robert Ward

One of the smallest and least assuming girls at a gymnastics meet is also one of the biggest stars.

For Bishop Ahr High School gymnast Julianna Drapkin, having the will to win drives her to be one of the very best in all of New Jersey.

After a season where she came within 0.050 of a second straight state title, Drapkin has emerged as the Greater Middlesex Conference’s best.

“In my 13 seasons, Julianna is definitely in the top-10 of gymnasts I’ve had at Bishop Ahr,” head coach Brant Lutska said. “She’s very focused on what she has to do and she knows exactly how to prepare. She’s a very independent worker and makes changes when they need to be made. Julianna’s a joy to work with.”

Drapkin is The Home News Tribune’s Gymnast of the Year.

“It’s a great reward for me because I’ve put in a lot of work and that was a goal of mine to be Gymnast of the Year,” Drapkin said.

The star sophomore added to her resume in 2013, by winning the GMC Tournament’s All-Around title in late October with a score of 37.95, and the North II sectional after posting 38.35.

But Drapkin refused to get too excited about her performances on those two Saturdays, instead saying that she had room to improve.

Regarding the GMC meet, Drapkin said “it wasn’t her best meet,” but she was “happy with how I did.” Speaking about the North II meet, in which Drapkin won all four events going away, she said she just “needs to work on being cleaner in all events.”

It seems like Drapkin may be nitpicking just a bit, but Lutska knows that Drapkin is one of the more consistent gymnasts in the entire state.

“She went four-for-four just about every meet this season and never fell. In my eye, she was the most consistent kid in the state all year,” Lutska said. “She barely went below 38 All-Around and at the North II sectional, it was a great day for her to shine and show everyone how strong an athlete she is.”

Drapkin said her favorite event is the floor, where she scored the fourth-highest mark in the state this season at 9.675. In fact, Drapkin registered seven of the 25 highest all-around marks this season, showing just how consistent she is.

“I worked on a couple of different things, on the floor and vault and they helped me a lot this season,” Drapkin said. “And I added a toe show on bars, so that also helped me improve a good amount from last year to this year.”

After coming so close to winning state individual titles in her first two seasons, Drapkin plans on coming back in 2014 and reclaiming the top spot statewide. But being part of a successful team is more important to her than any individual accolades.

“It’s great to be part of this team; it’s definitely something that I’ll remember,” she said. When we won GMCs, it was like the best day ever. We’ve worked so hard and routine after routine we just kept getting better, so to win was awesome. I’m hoping to win another team title in each of the next two years and that’s an important goal for me.”

Home News Tribune Gymnastics Coach of the Year: Brant Lutska, Bishop Ahr

For the Bishop Ahr High School gymnastics team, the 2013 season was a banner year. The Trojans captured the Greater Middlesex Conference title and the school’s 10th state title after a first-place finish at the North II Sectional. Along for the ride was head coach Brant Lutska, who called the season an extraordinary one.

“We were only eight kids deep this year, which was the smallest team I’ve had at Bishop Ahr,” Lutska said. “But it was a team with heart and on day 1, I told them they could be a state title team, but they had to put in the work. It was great to stand back and watch that hard work pay off.”

Lutska is The Home News Tribune’s Coach of the Year.

Led by super sophomore Julianna Drapkin and senior Casey Sabino, Bishop Ahr helped Lutska win his seventh state championship in 13 seasons at the helm.

“We really zoned in on who was going to be on what event when we got to state meets, and that strategy is a big part of getting us to where we were,” Lutska said. “If you are determined, and work together as a team, you can win the state championship. People doubted us, because of the size of our team, but it worked for us.”

Bishop Ahr’s Drapkin second in all-around

Bishop Ahr's Julianna Drapkin competes on the uneven bars at the NJSIAA Individual Championships on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

Bishop Ahr’s Julianna Drapkin competes on the uneven bars at the NJSIAA Individual Championships on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

MONTGOMERY — A year after winning the all-around title as a freshman, Bishop Ahr High School gymnast Julianna Drapkin came up just 0.050 short of repeating at the NJSIAA Individual Championships Saturday afternoon.

Drapkin captured the floor exercise and scored 38.225 in the all-around, narrowly behind Holmdel’s Kendall Valentin’s 38.275.

An emotional Drapkin, who thought she had won the competition for the second straight year, was in tears following the announcement of the scores. After nailing all four of her routines, she thought it was enough to win the all-around.

“It was an OK meet for me, I guess,” Drapkin said. “It was difficult to come so close, but I’m proud of what I accomplished this season and it feels good to come out second. It’s just disappointing.”

Drapkin won the floor exercise with a score of 9.675, tying Ridgewood’s Yurina Harada for the top spot, and finished fourth on the vault (9.575), fifth on the uneven bars (9.575) and seventh on the balance beam (9.475).

“I just thought about sticking everything and showing off on floor,” Drapkin said. “It feels great to the state champion on the floor.”

Only a sophomore, Drapkin will have two more chances to erase the narrow defeat, and knows that she’ll come back ready to go next season.

“I’ll get it next year. I’ll learn from this and being part of a team that’s so good, we were able to win the State Team title, definitely helps and I hope we can come back and do it again next year,” she said.

Her Bishop Ahr teammate, Casey Sabino, finished with an all-around mark of 36.175, after finishing fourth on the balance beam (9.550).

Old Bridge’s Victoria Lee was the ninth-place finished in the all-around, after scoring 37.075, and Nicole Sottiriou placed 18th for South Plainfield (36.600). Lee was ninth on the vault (9.425) and Sottiriou finished in a three-way tie for eighth on the floor (9.450). Natalie Kowalik of East Brunswick finished eighth on the uneven bars (9.425) and South Brunswick’s Morgan Rybinski was 13th on the floor (9.400).

Hillsborough’s Pallay is 13th, Onderko 16th in all-around at NJSIAA finals

Hillsborough's Sarah Pallay dismounts during her beam routine at the NJSIAA Individual Championships on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

Hillsborough’s Sarah Pallay dismounts during her beam routine at the NJSIAA Individual Championships on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

MONTGOMERY — Led by Sarah Pallay and Natalie Onderko, the Hillsborough High School gymnastics team put up impressive numbers at Saturday’s NJSIAA Individual Championships.

The duo placed 13th and 16th, respectively, in the all-around competition, scoring 36.950 and 36.625 respectively. Onderko came home in a tie for third on the uneven bars, after a 9.575 mark and Pallay finished in sixth on the balance beam after scoring a 9.525.

“The girls were great today. The individual competition is tough because there are so many great gymnasts in one room, so it can be a little intimidating. But we came out here and did what we planned on doing,” Hillsborough head coach Beth Murrin said. “Natalie was great today; we see her potential and I’m really proud of her performance today. Sarah is really easy-going, and sometimes I don’t know if she realizes how talented she is. But she’s really impressive and for her to come out with a really good all-around score is great.”

Emily Shugan, who won last week’s Sectional all-around title, finished 14th in the same competition on Saturday, scoring 36.825, with a fifth-place mark of 9.5000 in the uneven bars leading her day. Teammate Ayana Lee finished eighth on the floor exercise (9.450) to cap a year that saw her compete for Jamaica in the World Championships.

South Plainfield’s Nicole Sottiriou finished 18th in the all-around (36.660).

ALL-AROUND: 1. Kendall Valentin (Holmdel) 38.275; 2. Julianna Drapkin (Bishop Ahr) 38.225; 3. Kierstin Sokolowski (Lacey) 38.000; 4. Tess Zientek (Holmdel) 37.900; 5. Monica Servidio (Howell) 37.875; 6. Alexandra Wesoly (Lenape) 37.450; 7. Dominiquea Trotter (Middletown North) 37.400; 8. Samantha Marion (Ramapo) 37.100; 9. Victoria Lee (Old Bridge) 37.075; 10. Danielle Doolin (Shawnee) 37.050.

VAULT: 1. Kierstin Sokolowski (Lacey) 9.725; 2. Sahara Gipson (Ramapo) 9.650; 3. Dominiquea Trotter (Middletown North) 9.600; 4. Julianna Drapkin (Bishop Ahr) 9.575; 5. Kendall Valentin (Holmdel) 9.550; 6. Danielle Doolin (Shawnee) 9.500; 6. Yurina Harada (Ridgewood) 9.500; 8. Tess Zientek (Holmdel) 9.450; 9. Victoria Lee (Old Bridge) 9.425; 9. Renee Mallick (Montgomery) 9.425; 9. Emily Shugan (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.425.

BARS: 1. Alexandra Wesoly (Lenape) 9.725; 2. Kendall Valentin (Holmdel) 9.675; 3. Kierstin Sokolowski (Lacey) 9.575; 3. Natalie Onderko (Hillsborough) 9.575; 5. Julianna Drapkin (Bishop Ahr) 9.500; 5. Emily Shugan (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.500; 7. Sahara Gipson (Ramapo) 9.450; 8. Natalie Kowalik (East Brunswick) 9.425; 8. Tess Zientek (Holmdel) 9.425; 10. Monica Servidio (Howell) 9.400.

BEAM: 1. Tess Zientek (Holmdel) 9.600; 2. Monica Servidio (Howell) 9.575; 2. Danielle Doolin (Shawnee) 9.575; 4. Casey Sabino (Bishop Ahr) 9.550; 4. Dominiquea Trotter (Middletown North) 9.550; 6. Julianna Drapkin (Bishop Ahr) 9.475; 7. Kendall Valentin (Holmdel) 9.450; 8. Alexandra Wesoly (Lenape) 9.350; 10. Nicole Sottiriou (South Plainfield) 9.325; 10. Kara Giacose (Ramapo) 9.325.

FLOOR: 1. Julianna Drapkin (Bishop Ahr) 9.675; 1. Yurina Harada (Ridgewood) 9.675; 3. Kierstin Sokolowski (Lacey) 9.600; 3. Kendall Valentin (Holmdel) 9.600; 5. Sahara Gipson (Rampao) 9.575; 6. Monica Servidio (Howell) 9.500; 7. Jenna Crisalli (Freehold) 9.475; 8. Nicole Sottiriou (South Plainfield) 9.450; 8. Ayana Lee (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.450; 8. Samantha Marion (Ramapo) 9.450.

Holmdel’s Valentin is state all-around champion

Holmdel's Kendall Valentin competes on the bars during the Individual State Championships at Montgomery High School on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

Holmdel’s Kendall Valentin competes on the bars during the Individual State Championships at Montgomery High School on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

MONTGOMERY — For Holmdel High School senior gymnast Kendall Valentin, her four seasons have been all about progression.

As a freshman, the NJSIAA Individual Championships were filled with nerves, as she fell on one of her routines, as she came home seventh. But in the last three seasons, she’s improved to fifth, second and now first in the All-Around competition, as Valentin won Saturday’s title with a score of 38.275, narrowly edging Bishop Ahr’s Julianna Drapkin, the 2012 champion, by 0.050.

Valentin didn’t win an individual event Saturday, but placed in the top eight in all four events to emerge as the all-around champion. She finished second on the uneven bars (9.625), tied for third in the floor exercise (9.600), fifth on the vault (9.550) and eighth on the balance beam (9.450).

“I’m just really happy. I hit all four routines and consistency is my thing I guess,” Valentin said afterwards. “I fell during my freshman year and it’s just been a steady improvement since. It’s really great to get all the way to the top and finish first this year. I was so close last year and I wanted it so badly this time. I knew that my time would come and I worked harder and did whatever I could to try and win. Just being able to know that all my hard work, as a senior, paid off is great.”

Valentin got a little bit of help on the balance beam, as she got a second chance to do her routine after two of the four judges didn’t look up from their scoresheets to see her compete. Valentin fell during the first try, but the judges offered her a second chance to go and she took advantage.

“The rules allowed me to go again and they asked if I wanted a re-do,” she said. “I didn’t fall and hit my routine the second time.”

Valentin said that she’ll be continuing her gymnastics career at Eastern Michigan University on a full scholarship next fall.

Her Holmdel teammate, Tess Zientek, finished fourth in the all-around (37.900) and won the balance beam (9.600).

Shugan vaults Bridgewater-Raritan to top of sectional

Bridgewater-Raritan's Emily Shugan competes on the uneven bars in Saturday's NJSIAA Central sectionals. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

Bridgewater-Raritan’s Emily Shugan competes on the uneven bars in Saturday’s NJSIAA Central sectionals. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

HILLSBOROUGH — After battling an injury for just about all of her senior season, Emily Shugan put it all together Saturday afternoon.

Shugan won the vault competition en route to the All-Around title and helped the Bridgewater-Raritan High School gymnastics team to the team championship at the NJSIAA Central II Sectional at Hillsborough High School.

The Panthers edged Hillsborough 109.475-108.750 to claim the team title, with Shugan leading the way.

Shugan’s score of 9.600 was tops on the vault and her total of 37.175 earned her the All-Around top spot, advancing her to next weekend’s Individual Finals at Montgomery High School.

“I was not expecting much; just to get enough to move on and compete at states,” Shugan said. “I was just hoping for a 36, so for me to pull everything together and win All-Around is surprising to me. Vault was a complete surprise to me, because I just started training for it on Friday.”

Shugan finished second on the uneven bars with a mark of 9.475, just .025 behind Hillsborough’s Natalie Onerdko and sixth on the floor exercise after posting a 9.375. Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Julie Zaneto praised Shugan’s resiliency after the meet.

“She’s been battling this injury, so she hasn’t been able to compete in All-Around this season. But she pushed through it and I really couldn’t be happier with her outcome,” Zaneto said. “She’s one of the toughest gymnasts I’ve ever coached and she’s very dedicated and focused and she did superb.”

Ayana Lee also helped the Bridgewater-Raritan assault, finishing second in the vault and fifth on both the bars and floor, with scores of 9.025 and 9.400, respectively. Lee just missed the cutoff to qualify for the Individual Finals, scoring 35.975, .025 short of the required 36.000 to move on. She’ll be going with the rest of her teammates to the Team Finals, which is a rewarding achievement for Zaneto and her squad.

“We came in here trying to be as consistent as possible and obviously the goal is to make it to states, so we just everything one event at a time,” Zaneto said. “I didn’t know we won until the very end when they announced it, which was a bit of a surprise, not because we’re not capable of it, but it was certainly something that I didn’t expect today.”

Host Hillsborough missed out on the team title by less than a point after a strong performance from Onderko. The sophomore won the bars with a score of 9.500 and finished second on the beam after posting a 9.425. Onderko finished fourth in the All-Around competition and advanced with a mark of 36.300.

“Natalie is only a sophomore and she didn’t even do high school gymnastics last year,” Hillsborough head coach Beth Murrin said. “She was really excited to participate this year and she’s been battling an injury a bit this year. But she was awesome today. This week she started to feel a little bit better and she did a phenomenal job. We added some skills to every event and she just handled it all great and enjoyed the experience.”

Sarah Pallay also showed well for the Raiders, winning the floor exercise with a 9.675 and finished sixth in the All-Around with a mark of 36.100.

South Plainfield’s Nicole Sottiriou claimed the day’s final event on the beam, scoring a 9.550 to cap another stellar performance. Sottiriou’s score of 36.175 was enough to advance her into the Individual Finals, even with a fall on the bars.

TEAM SCORES: 1. Bridgewater-Raritan (BR) 109.475; 2. Hillsborough (H) 108.750; 3. Hunterdon Central (HC) 108.025; 4. East Brunswick (EB) 105.375; 5. South Brunswick (SB) 105.350; 6. Montgomery (M) 105.325; 7. Somerville (S) 103.475; 8. South Plainfield (SP) 102.875; 9. North Hunterdon (NH) 71.800.

ALL-AROUND: 1. Emily Shugan (BR) 37.175; 2. Morgan Rybinski (SB) 36.825; 3. Natalie Kowalik (EB) 36.725; 4. Natalie Onderko (H) 36.300; 5. Nicole Sottiriou (SP) 36.175; 6. Sarah Pallay (H) 36.100; 7. Jessie Vallorosi (HC) 36.050; 8. Kira Solt (H) 36.025.

VAULT: 1. Emily Shugan (BR) 9.600; 2. Ayana Lee (BR) 9.525; 3. Sarah Pallay (H) 9.475; 4. Nicole Sottiriou (SP) 9.450; 4. Renee Mallick (M) 9.450; 6. Stephanie Reid (HC) 9.350.

UNEVEN BARS: 1. Natalie Onderko (H) 9.500; 2. Emily Shugan (BR) 9.475; 3. Natalie Kowalik (EB) 9.450; 4. Morgan Rybinski (SB) 9.250; 5. Ayana Lee (BR) 9.025; 6. Kira Solt (H) 8.825.

BALANCE BEAM: 1. Nicole Sottiriou (SP) 9.550; 2. Natalie Onderko (H) 9.425; 3. Maeve Stewart (HC) 9.325; 4. Jessie Vallorosi (HC) 9.150; 5. Faye Lawrence (BR) 9.100; 6. Genevieve Suplee (BR) 9.075.

FLOOR EXERCISE: 1. Sarah Pallay (H) 9.675; 2. Nicole Sottiriou (SP) 9.600; 3. Stephanie Reid (HC) 9.525; 4. Audrey Warner (M) 9.450; 5. Ayana Lee (BR) 9.400; 6. Emily Shugan (BR) 9.375.

South Brunswick’s Rybinski takes second in All-Around at Central sectional

East Brunswick's Kylie Feldman competes on the balance beam at the NJSIAA Central sectionals on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

East Brunswick’s Kylie Feldman competes on the balance beam at the NJSIAA Central sectionals on Saturday. Photo by: Kathy Johnson

HILLSBOROUGH — For South Brunswick High School gymnast Morgan Rybinski, Saturday’s Central II Sectional was all about keeping her nerves in check.

Consider that accomplished.

Rybinski, the 2012 meet champion, finished second in the All-Around competition with a score of 36.825, good enough to advance to next weekend’s Individual Finals. Rybinski was fourth on the bars (9.250), seventh on the beam (9.050), tied for eighth on the floor (9.300) and tied for ninth on the vault (9.225).

“Today was a really nervous day for me, because I hadn’t been hitting on my routines,” Rybinski said. “I didn’t do my best today, but it feels great to advance. I didn’t even think something like this was possible for me. I just need to clean it up for next week.”

Rybinski helped South Brunswick finish fifth in the team competition with a score of 105.350, 4.100 behind champion Bridgewater-Raritan.

Joining Rybinski in next Saturday’s Individual Finals was South Plainfield’s Nicole Sottiriou, who finished sixth in the All-Around (36.175) after winning the beam (9.550).

Sottiriou was having herself a potential top-3 day before a fall on the bars, but was pleased with the effort

“I was hitting everything solid and then I just slipped up on Bars,” Sottiriou said. “I was waiting around a little bit before I got started and I just overthought it. I don’t know what happened; I was doing well in warmups and I just slipped. It happens, it’s not the end of the world.”

Even with the fall, Sottiriou’s marks were high enough on the other three events to negate the 7.575 on the bars. She would finish fourth on the vault (9.450) and second on the floor (9.600) to round out her day.

“I’m lucky that I still qualified and I know that last year I worked my butt off and missed out by less than a point,” Sottiriou said. “It was devastating to miss out on it last year, so I didn’t even care if I just made it, by a slim margin or not.”

East Brunswick’s Natalie Kowalik also will continue her season at Saturday’s Finals, after scoring the third-highest All-Around total (36.725).

Kowalik was third on the bars (9.450) and tied for ninth on the vault (9.225). The Bears finished fourth in the team competition after posting a score of 105.375.

Reid leads Hunterdon Central to Skyland Conference gymnastics title

FLEMINGTON — Behind the stellar performance of Steph Reid, the Hunterdon Central High School gymnastics team captured the Skyland Conference title, posting a season-high 110.525 Friday night in their home gym.

Reid won both the floor exercise (9.625) and the vault (9.55) and finished second on the uneven bars (9.55) and the balance beam (9.575) to finish with an All-Around best 38.150.

“It was definitely my best performance of the year,” Reid said. “I’ve always been really consistent on floor and I’ve been getting good scores, so I just did the best I could. And on vault, I did my best and got my best score of the season.”

The Red Devils also got a standout performance from Jessie Vallorosi, who finished third in the All-Around with a score of 36.800. Vallorosi placed fourth on the uneven bars (9.350) and tied for third on the floor (9.375) to buoy Hunterdon Central to their first team title since 2011.

“I thought the girls were ready to go today. I though warmups went well and I think we had the right mindset coming in and our focus was going to be do what we can control,” Hunterdon Central head coach Jessica Cantagallo-Rohm said. “We can’t control what other teams do and how the judges score, so our focus was to do the best we could do and however the cards play out, that’s how it would work out for us. I was very happy with the performances that they had.”

Cantagallo-Rohm was particularly proud of the way they her squad performed, setting a season-high in points, in front of their home crowd. But, she knows that this is not the ceiling for the Red Devils, because of a few falls from usually consistent performers. Nevertheless, Reid’s performance stuck with her coach.

“I think she just had a great day. We have been waiting for this all season, she’s battled injuries for the last two years and I’m so happy that she put it together in this meet,” Cantagallo-Rohm said.

Other winners in the meet included Bridgewater-Raritan’s Emily Shugan and Hillsborough’s Sarah Pallay. Shugan took home first place in the uneven bars with a score of 9.55 and Pallay won the balance beam with a mark of 9.575.

Pallay’s All-Around score of 37.600 was less than half-a-point behind Reid for the title.

TEAM SCORES: 1. Hunterdon Central 110.525; 2. Hillsborough 109.025; 3. Bridgewater-Raritan 107.550; 4. Montgomery 107.350; 5. Somerville 104.475; 6. Watchung Hills 101.250; 7. Ridge 98.025; 8. North Hunterdon 96.275.

ALL-AROUND: 1. Steph Reid (Hunterdon Central) 38.150; 2. Sarah Pallay (Hillsborough) 37.600; 3. Jessie Vallorosi (Hunterdon Central) 36.800; 4. Renee Mallick (Montgomery) 36.275; 5. Ayana Lee (Bridgewater-Raritan) 35.575; 6. Audrey Warner (Montgomery) 35.500.

VAULT: 1. Steph Reid (Hunterdon Central) 9.550; 2. Sarah Pallay (Hillsborough) 9.450; 3. Brionna Hawkens (Somerville) 9.400; 4. Renee Mallick (Montgomery) 9.350; 4. Ayana Lee (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.350; 6. Jessie Vallorosi (Hunterdon Central) 9.250.

UNEVEN BARS: 1. Emily Shugan (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.550; 2. Steph Reid (Hunterdon Central) 9.475; 2. Natalie Onderko (Hillsborough) 9.475; 4. Jessie Vallorosi (Hunterdon Central) 9.350; 5. Sarah Pallay (Hillsborough) 9.200; 6. Jordan Ricca (Montgomery) 9.050.

BALANCE BEAM: 1. Sarah Pallay (Hillsborough) 9.575; 2. Steph Reid (Hunterdon Central) 9.500; 3. Renee Mallick (Montgomery) 9.400; 4. Audrey Warner (Montgomery) 9.200; 5. Maeve Stewart (Hunterdon Central) 9.125; 6. Natalie Onderko (Hillsborough) 9.075.

FLOOR EXERCISE: 1. Steph Reid (Hunterdon Central) 9.625; 2. Faye Lawrence (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.400; 3. Sarah Pallay (Hillsborough) 9.375; 3. Jessie Vallorosi (Hunterdon Central) 9.375; 5. Ayana Lee (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.300; 6. Meaghan Jones (Bridgewater-Raritan) 9.150.