The Red Bank Catholic High School gymnastics team now holds the record for most state titles at 11.
The Caseys entered Thursday’s NJSIAA Gymnastics Championships tied with Bishop Ahr for the most state titles with 10, and took the lead with 11 when they won their third-straight championship, 111,950-111.825 over second place finisher Colts Neck. Bishop Ahr placed third with a 110.700.
“I’m so proud, they worked so hard,” Red Bank Catholic coach Ronanne DeRosa said. “We tried to prepare in every way we could for the pressure, so I’m very proud of them, they held it together really well. RBC was always a gymnastics powerhouse, back in the 70s, back in the 80s, it’s always been, and I’m just happy we’re back there again.”
Middletown South placed fourth, Watchung Hills was fifth, Hillsborough was sixth, while Howell, Ramapo, Pascack Regional and Brick Memorial rounded out the 10 teams.
“Coming we didn’t know what to expect because we’ve been underestimated,” Bishop Ahr senior Samantha Obolsky said. “So we just wanted to come in, work our hardest, whatever scores we got, we got, but as long as went 100 percent, we were hoping for top three. So we came in hoping high and we met our expectations.”
Howell’s Monica Servidio took first in the all-around with a 38.175, while Red Bank Catholic’s Nicolette DiPrisco was second (37.925) and Bishop Ahr’s Ariyana Agarwala was third (37.850).
“We really wanted to just make every routine,” DeRosa said. “We wanted to come in and make all our routines and try to get out of this meet without any falls and see where the chips kind of fell from there, because we knew that there was going to be some really tough competition.”
Ally Cucich earned her team a 9.800 on vault, which was good for first place, while DiPrisco took first on beam (9.500) and second on the uneven bars (9.625). For Bishop Ahr, Agarwala was tied for first on beam with a 9.500, while Skylar Davvison tied for third on the floor exercise with Cucich with a 9.475.
“There’s always going to be some downfalls but we still came up and pushed through and managed to have all together a really good meet,” Obolsky said. “I think it has to do with team dynamics, we’re a very close knit team, if you have a team that isn’t agreeing, you can see it in their performance, but because we are so close we support each other and that’s probably the best part.”
Alexis Tekin placed first in the uneven bars with a 9.675 for Watchung Hills, while Jenna Ramunno tied for second in vault with a 9.750.
This season, Bishop Ahr won the Greater Middlesex Conference title along with the North Group II title, which qualified the Trojans for the state championships. Agarwala has led the way this season, winning the all-around at both the GMC Tournament and the sectional meet.
The Caseys won their fourth straight Shore Conference title this season, as well as the Central Group I meet.
“Under the circumstances, I think there was a lot of stress for all these kids today, not just our team,” DeRosa said. “Everyone was so good and we were all packed in so tightly from sectionals, I think everybody had that feeling where if they hit and they didn’t have one mistake they could possibly win the meet.”
1. Red Bank Catholic 111.950; 2. Colts Neck 111.825; 3. Bishop Ahr 110.700; 4. Middletown South 109,925; 5. Watchung Hills (108.925); 6. Hillsborough (108.375); 7. Howell (107.900); 8. Ramapo 107.000; 9. Pascack Regional 105.825; 10. Brick Memorial 102.875.