Hillsborough Gymnastics- NJSIAA Sectional Championship


Kate Shanahan

Hillsborough gymnasts celebrating their well deserved state championship.

Kate Shanahan, Staff Writer

Saturday Nov. 2– The Hillsborough Raiders battled it out in their home gym for the NJSIAA Sectional Championship. Competing against twelve teams promised a day filled with challenges for the Raiders. Boro gymnastics fought tirelessly all day in hopes of securing another sectional title. 

From cheering each other on during events to spending valuable time bonding, Hillsborough Gymnastics took the long day ahead of them in stride, making the most of every moment. 

Hillsborough began its day with a bye, so they did not have to compete until the second rotation. Allowing themselves to relax and release nervous energy, the Raiders took advantage of their delayed start. Beginning with the vault event, Hillsborough dominated by utilizing all grades to rack up points early in the day. 

After a successful showing in the vault event, the Raiders moved on to perform bar routines with tons of momentum.  Senior Haley Mandell thrived performing this stressful skill. Mandell stuck the landing racking up vital points for her team. 

Moving on to the balance beam, the Raiders took on their third challenge for the day. The Raiders found success in beams with the help of sophomore Tara Varbel, freshman Katina Coyle, and senior Samantha Ringle. The Raiders flourished in their final event of the day, floor exercise. Seniors Ringle and Jordyn Bell along with freshman Katina Coyle gave top-five performances. 

After finishing every event, it was time for awards. The anticipation of another title fell upon the team. Boro gymnasts lingered in the wrestling room, reflecting upon a successful day, 

First came the individual awards for each of the four events. The top twelve athletes were awarded for their performance and the top five athletes in each event would qualify for the NJSIAA Individual Tournament. The Raiders patiently cheered on their teammates as they accepted their individual awards. Ringle scored third in vault with 9.525 points, second in bars with 9.325 points, and third in beam with 9.4 points. Following her lead, Coyle placed third in beam with 9.275 points and first overall in floor with 9.325 points. Ringle earned the top all around award, scoring the most individual points out of every athlete who participated. Barely pushing past a sophomore from East Brunswick, Ringle secured the title with a total of 37.425 points. 

Following the individual awards came the long awaited team placing. After announcing the 10th through 4th place awards, titles for first, second, and third were up in the air. Hillsborough, East Brunswick, and Hunterdon Central waited in anticipation for the final results. 

Third place was awarded to Hunterdon Central and second place went to East Brunswick. The Raiders’ hard work throughout the entire day paid off as they won the Central Jersey, Group 2 crown. Hillsborough narrowly secured the win as they won by 0.025 points.