Daniel Hand second at New England Gymnastics meet

FAIRFIELD — Taylor Markley from Woodstock Academy and Emma White from Franklin High (MA) put on a show at the 26th annual New England Girls Gymnastics Championship held at Fairfield Warde.

Markley passed the eye test when the junior posted scores of 9.825 on vault and 9.750 on uneven bars. Those numbers had an entourage from Franklin looking up her bio on their cell phones and sharing that info.

White, a senior, did not need a deep dive into the internet by her fellow Panthers. She brought fans to their feet when she put together an uneven bar routine of 9.975 to close the event. That gave her the New England title with an all-around of 39.00. Markley was second at 38.175.

Franklin with 148.20 won the team title. Daniel Hand was second at 143.225. Woodstock Academy was third with 143.10.

Hand coach Kelly Smith said: “How can you not be ecstatic when you set a school record in your last meet of the year. We had a really good day in our last meet with our seniors who we love so much.”

Fairfield Warde placed fourth with a score of 141.85. Emma Johnson was sixth around with 37.225.

“We did extremely well and had fun,” Warde coach Darcy Appleby said. “This is our first time competing at New Englands as a team in my 25 years. This group worked together well.”

Sight unseen

Markley and White had never competed on the same mat, but that didn’t mean they weren’t on each other’s radar.

“Coach (Kasey) Tocchio told me she had scored a 39.9 last week in their state meet,” said Markley, who tacked on scores of 9.1 on balance beam and 9.5 in floor exercise. “Every week we accomplished so much. I’m happy with my day.”

White said: “(Markley) was amazing. We were both competing, but I saw her scores. It was a great day for us at our first New England meet. I thought last week (winning state titles in beam, floor, and all around) was so special. This was our best week of the season.”

White opened with a 9.6 on balance beam. Cheers enveloped the gym for White, who had judges not involved in scoring turn to watch her post a 9.7 on floor exercise. She then one-upped herself with a 9.85 on vault (.05 short of New Milford’s Jeanna Bradle’s 9.9 set in 2006).

Woodstock won New England titles in 2012 and 2014. It was third the last time the meet was held in 2019.

Newton South (MA) won the last NE title with a score of 149.30 in 2019. Woodstock Academy was third at 144.50.

Championship setup

The top three teams from each state, and the top 10 individual girl gymnasts in each event plus all-around from each state, competed in two stages.

The morning session included all individual qualifiers and qualifying third-place teams. The second session saw qualifying first- and second-place teams compete. Scores were combined from both sessions.

Gymnasts from a qualified team did not count toward the 10 allowed. This opened the field for a total of 10 alternates from each state, including all-around.

Plaques were given to the first-, second- and third-place teams. Individual medals were awarded to the top six individual girls in each event plus, all around.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354

Team scores

1. Franklin (MA) 148.20, 2. Daniel Hand 36.20, 3. Woodstock Academy 37.00, 4. Fairfield Warde 141.85, 5. G-D/C-C/NM/Litl (MA) 141.37


1, Emma White (Franklin) 9.85, 2. Taylor Markley (Woodstock Academy) 9.825, 3. Maggie Murphy (Westford High, MA) 9.8, 4. Jordyn Murray (Ellis Tech) 9.675, 5. Kate Rudolph (Franklin) 9.525, Tie 6. Emma Johnson (Warde), Olivia Aleman (Woodstock Academy) 9.475

Uneven bars

1. Emma White (*Franklin) 9.75, 2. Taylor Markley (Woodstock Academy) 9.75, Tie 3. Jordyn Murray (Ellis Tech), Charlotte Woodbury (G-D/C-C/NM/Litl-MA), Zoe Duran (Norton High, MA) 9.5, Tie 4. Kate Rudolph (Franklin), Lauren Heller (Stamford) 9.45, Tie 5. Morgan Flickinger (Daniel Hand), Olivia Priest (North Kingston High, RI) 9.45, 6. Kaitlyn Abbey (East Lyme) 9.275

Balance beam

1. Emma Johnson (Warde) 9.8, 2. Emma White (Franklin) 9.675, Tie 3. Jordyn Murray (Ellis Tech), Maggie Murphy (Westford, MA) 9.65, 4. Kate Rudolph (Franklin) 9.6, Tie 5. Mia Gorman (Algonquin High, MA), Shaye Robinson (Barrington High, RI) 9.55, 6. Ava Golding (Fairfield Ludlowe) 9.5

Floor exercise

1. Emma White (Franklin) 9.7, 2. Taylor Markley (Woodstock Academy) 9.5, 3. Emma Johnson (Warde) 9.45, Tie 4. Kate Rudolph (Franklin), Brenna Johnson (Plainfield) 9.4, 5. Olivia Aleman (Woodstock Academy) 9.375, 6. Maggie Murphy (Westford, MA) 9.35

All around

1. Emma White (Franklin) 39.00, 2. Taylor Markley (Woodstock Academy) 38.175, 3. Jordyn Murray (Ellis Tech) 38.075, 5. Maggie Murphy (Westford High, MA) 37.80, 6. Emma Johnson (Warde) 37.225