Flickinger, Anderson help Hand win Class S gymnastics title

Hand celebrates winning Class S gymnastics title on Saturday.

Hand celebrates winning Class S gymnastics title on Saturday.

Dan Nowak / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — The Hand gymnastics team has a long, storied history in the CIAC postseason class tournaments.

Entering the Class S meet at Law High, the Tigers had won 18 state titles (14 Class M and four Class S) since 1978, including six (combined) under current 16-year coach Kelly Smith.

Although the Tigers experienced a three-year drought without a title since 2017, they got back on track Saturday.

Hand won the Class S title with 140.45 points, St. Joseph was second with 133.15 and Law third with 129.525.

Freshman Morgan Flickinger was the leading point earner for the Tigers with a 9.35 in the bars, 9.325 in the beam and 9.1 in the floor exercise. Freshman Brooke Anderson chipped in with 9.325 points in the vault.

“A lot of our strength came from our freshmen and the difficulty they brought increased our scoring potential,” Kelly said. “All the girls came in and did their job and left nothing on the table.

“The great thing is this season our seniors won their first SCC title and now a state title. It’s great to see them leave as state champs.“

Next up is the CIAC State Open on March 7 at New Milford at 10 a.m and the Tigers go in as the top seed.

“We came into Class S ranked No. 1 and we had the potential to win, “ Kelly said. “But you never know. You have to be mentally prepared for this and our girls were. It is always special to win a state title, it never gets old because each group is different.“

St. Joseph was led by Julianna Rizzitelli who had 9.05 in the vault, 8.75 on the beam and 8.75 on the floor. Emma Nelly led Law with 8.60 in the floor and 8.375 in the vault.

Class S championship

Team Scores: 1. Daniel Hand 140.450; 2. St. Joseph 133.150; 3. Jonathan Law 129.525; 4. Ellington 128.525; 5. Stonington 124.825; 6. Killingly 124.600; 7. Oxford 123.075; 8. Valley Regional 122.525

Top Individual Event Scores: Vault - Brooke Anderson, Daniel Hand, 9.325 Uneven Bars - Morgan Flickinger, Daniel Hand, 9.350 Balance Beam - Morgan Flickinger, Daniel Hand, 9.325 Floor Exercise - Lydia Laskey, Stonington, 9.300