Gymnastics: Wilton gets top seed for Class M state championships
The Wilton High gymnastics team will be gunning for its first state title in nearly a decade at Saturday’s Class M championships at Pomperaug High School.
The Class M meet will be the last competition of the day and is scheduled to start at 5.
The Warriors are seeded first among the eight Class M team, with an average of 135.33. Daniel Hand, the defending champ, is seeded second at 133.0, more than two points behind Wilton.
The other six teams all average under 130: Pomperaug (129.97), Darien (129.65), Wethersfield (128.68), Conard (128.05), New Milford (127.52) and Fairfield Warde (122.13).
“It’s there for the taking, if we’re good enough to take it,” said head coach Gary Chadwick of the title. “If we execute the way we’re capable of, we’ll be fine. But there’s a reason that they hold these meets. There’s no guarantees.”
Wilton’s last state title came in 2009.
“We haven’t been in this position in quite a few years,” Chadwick said.
The Warriors finished the season ranked fourth in the overall state rankings, behind Greenwich (143.21), Trumbull (142.25) and Woodstock Academy (137.78). But Woodstock is in Class S, while Greenwich and Trumbull, along with Fairfield Ludlowe (135.19), are in Class L.
Chadwick said the Warriors are healthy going into the meet, other than one gymnast who may be limited by an ankle injury.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” he said. “Now we just got to go out and do it.”
Wilton can qualify for the State Open as a team if it is one of the top four scoring teams at Saturday’s three divisional meets.
The State Open takes place March 3 at Pomperaug.
Individual gymnasts can qualify by finishing in the top 40, average-wise, in the state in each event. Wilton has five gymnasts who have qualified.
Jess Olin, a junior, is qualified in all four events. She is ranked third in the state on vault (9.3375), third on floor (9.35), 10th on bars (8.8625) and 15th on beam (8.7875), and is sixth in the state in the all-around (36.175)
Brooke Taffler, also a junior, is qualified in two events. She is ranked 33rd on bars (8.425) and 36th on vault (8.5875).
Freshman Lilly Byrnes is ranked 13th on floor (9.0375), junior Sam Huffman is ranked 39th on bars (8.275) and sophomore Carter Siegel is ranked 38th on vault (8.55).