Daniel Hand wins SCC gymnastics championship

Daniel Hand won the SCC girls gymnastics championship on Thursday in Milford.

Daniel Hand won the SCC girls gymnastics championship on Thursday in Milford.

Bill Bloxsom / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — Daniel Hand captured the SCC Girls’ Gymnastics Championship with a near record-setting performance at the James L. Richetelli Sr. Gymnasium on Thursday night.

Hand’s 141.3 points was bettered only once in a league final since 1996. That came in 2014 when coach Kelly Smith’s Tigers scored a 141.45.

“We prepared all week for this,” Smith said about Hand bringing the title back to Madison after a two-year layover at Jonathan Law. “We talked about the history of the program. I told the girls to come here and do their job, that their teammates have their back. We have enough strong kids to absorb any mistakes.”

Freshman Morgan Flickinger was named Most Outstanding Gymnast in a vote by league coaches. Flickinger was first in all around (36.15), floor exercise (9.1) and balance beam (9.2).

“It means a lot for all of us to win,” Flickinger said. “We push each other every day. Everyone did great.”

Hand gymnasts kept one-upping each other in the four events and registered four of the top all around scores. Brooke Anderson was second (35.65), Paige Dean fifth (34.0) and Hadley Reiss sixth (33.8).

Said Smith: “We look to put out a lineup that builds up points. Each girl is competitive and wants to win. But they were high-fiving and cheering for each other. There was a team purpose.”

Jonathan Law was second 133.7, followed by Mercy 122.45, Foran 117.35 and Hamden 109.

Law’s Natalie Morell repeated as champion on the uneven bars with a score of 8.9. A sophomore, she was third in the all around (34.7).

Hand captured 10 consecutive titles from 2009-2018 before Mercy unseated the Tigers in 2019.

Tigers captains Riley Caruso and Ally Gabrynowski were proud of their team’s performance.

“Every girl gave their best effort,” Caruso said. “Each day we challenge each other to be are best selves. Bringing the title back was what we’ve been working for.”

Said Gabrynowski: “This is exciting. The past two years with COVID made it hard to remember our history. It feels fantastic to win again. Coach has told us all the stories and now we are living it.”

All-SCC: Morgan Flickinger (Daniel Hand), Brooke Anderson (Daniel Hand), Ella Esposito (Guilford), Natalie Morrell (Jonathan Law), Paige Dean (Daniel Hand), Jessa Cappiello (Mercy), Kenzie Powers (Jonathan Law), Hadley Reiss (Daniel Hand) Riley Grunow (Foran), Olivia Consiglio (Daniel Hand), Tallulah Malz (Mercy), Emma Nelly (Jonathan Law), Ginger Schmidt (Foran)

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com; @blox354

SCC Gymnastics Championship

Team results: 1. Daniel Hand, 141.3; 2. Jonathan Law, 133.7; 3. Mercy, 122.45; 4. Foran, 117.35; 5. Hamden, 109

Vault: 1. Brooke Anderson (Daniel Hand), 9.3; 2 tie. Morgan Flickenger (Daniel Hand), 9.15 Paige Dean (Daniel Hand), 9.15; 3. Riley Grunow (Foran) 8.95; 4. Morgan McMahon (Daniel Hand), 8.65; 5. Kenze Powers (Jonathan Law), 8.6; 6. Emma Nelly (Jonathan Law), 8.45

Uneven Bars: 1. Natalie Morell (Jonathan Law), 9.1; 2. Paige Dean (Daniel Hand), 8.75; 3. Morgan Flickenger (Daniel Hand), 8.7; 4. Brooke Anderson (Daniel Hand), 8.5; 5. Olivia Consiglio (Daniel Hand), 8.45; 6. Jessa Cappiello (Mercy), 8.4

Balance Beam: 1. Morgan Flickenger (Daniel Hand), 9.2; 2. Ella Esposito (Guilford), 9.1; 3 tie. Brooke Anderson (Daniel Hand), 9.0 Kenzie Powers (Jonathan Law), 9.0; 5. Tallulah Malz (Mercy), 8.7 ; 6 tie. Natalie Morrell (Jonathan Law), 8.65 Ginger Schmidt (Foran) 8.65

Floor Exercise: 1. Morgan Flickenger (Daniel Hand), 9.1; 2. Hadley Reiss (Daniel Hand), 8.95; 3. Brooke Anderson (Daniel Hand), 8.8; 4. Emma Nelly (Jonathan Law), 8.8; 5. MaKenna Sharpe (Jonathan Law), 8.75; 6. Ella Esposito (Guilford), 8.7

All Around: 1. Morgan Flickenger (Daniel Hand), 36.15; 2. Brooke Anderson (Daniel Hand), 35.65; 3. Natalie Morrell (Jonathan Law), 34.7; 4. Ella Esposito (Guilford), 34.4; 5. Paige Dean (Daniel Hand), 34.00; 6. Hadley Reiss (Daniel Hand), 33.8