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Defending Champ Gymnastics Team Is Ready For Meets



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The gymnastics competition season is finally here, and members of the defending South-West Conference champion Newtown High School team are ready for their meets — in more ways than one.

Not only are the Nighthawks anticipating putting all of their offseason and preseason training to the test in competitions, but they are primed for the pressure of competitions, Coach Kim Kane said.

“All the girls have a pretty strong background in gymnastics. All of them will be ready to perform in a meet,” said Kane, adding that another strength of the team is the work ethic of the girls.

Coming off three straight years as a top-two team in the SWC, the Nighthawks will look to continue to be among the best in the SWC in 2020 with several new gymnasts in the mix.

The Nighthawks edged Oxford for the conference crown after back-to-back runner-up finishes, and were fourth in the Class L state championships. Newtown lost a handful graduates among key point-getters, including Ally Kenny, who was third in the all-around at the SWC championships, so their are significant voids to fill.

Kane’s Hawks return Hannah Jojo, the top all-around performer who earned championship meet MVP accolades. Jojo is one of five seniors on a roster that — despite the meet-ready makeup — has a mix of mostly veteran and newcomer athletes. In fact, there are seven freshmen this winter.

Seniors, in addition to Jojo, are Marisa Choi, Kylie Giroux, Mary Locke, and Casey Sullivan; juniors are Ava Berry and Brynn Reilly; there are no sophomores and the large freshmen contingent comprises Alexandra Amato-Checchia, Cyrena Arokium, Caroline Gardner, Addie Sullivan, Kayleigh Troy, Kaitlin Yeaton, and Lauren Young.

Kane expects Pomperaug of Southbury, Nonnewaug, and New Milford being among the stronger teams in the conference.

The season begins Saturday, January 4, when the Hawks take on Nonnewaug and host Farmington at 3 pm. Newtown competes in the Pomperaug Invitational in Southbury on Saturday, January 11, beginning at 10 am. The SWC championships are set for Thursday, February 13, at New Milford High, starting at 5 pm.

“I’m really looking forward to the season. Last year was a great year,” Kane said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do. It’s going to be a fun season.”

Hannah Jojo was the top gymnast in last year's SWC championships and returns to the Hawks this winter. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Brynn Reilly competes on the bars during last year's conference championship meet.
Marisa Choi is among the returning Nighthawks.
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