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HHS Gymnastics storms to fifth straight sectional title

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HHS Gymnastics storms to fifth straight sectional title

The surging gymnastics team gathers around the podium to celebrate its Sectional title.

The surging gymnastics team gathers around the podium to celebrate its Sectional title.

The surging gymnastics team gathers around the podium to celebrate its Sectional title.

The surging gymnastics team gathers around the podium to celebrate its Sectional title.

Lindsey Baum and Christopher Smith

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Heading into the Central Jersey, Section 2 Championships, HHS gymnastics knew they had to represent. In their home gym, and riding a 4-year winning streak, the team felt the pressure to take home their 5th straight section title.

Led by a sensational performance from junior Sam Ringel, the Raiders totaled 109.35 points to defeat the next closest competitor, East Brunswick, by more than 4 points. With the win, the team qualified for the next round of states.

The meet was also important because it served as qualifiers for the individual state championships. Any gymnast who places fifth or higher in any individual event qualifies for the state competition.

With 17 gymnasts competing across all events, much of Hillsborough’s strength came from varied team contributions. The Raiders placed nine times across the four events, with five different gymnasts climbing the podium for Hillsborough.

For senior Brielle Seidel, this meet represented redemption after a disappointing junior season.

“I had been working toward getting back to states since I went my sophomore year,” senior Seidel said. “It felt really rewarding to know my efforts had paid off.”

Seidel’s 9.375 on bars earned her second place in the event, allowing her to punch her ticket to the state competition. Fellow senior Cindy Liu also qualified for states on bars, with her score of 9.025 earning her fifth place.

The star of the day again, though, was Ringel. With her all around score of 37.1, Ringel captured her third straight sectional title, continuing her undefeated streak at sectionals. On her path to all-around greatness, Ringel took top prize in both the bars and floor exercise, with scores of 9.525 and 9.35 respectively. She also took second place on both vault and floor exercise.

With this win, Ringel remains undefeated in the all-around for the 2018 season, a streak which she hopes to continue throughout the remainder of states.

Other individual qualifiers for Hillsborough are freshman Tara Vrabel, who scored an 8.8 on beam to place fourth, and senior Clare Hanlon, who placed fifth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.2.

With the team win, HHS further solidified its place as a perennial powerhouse in NJ gymnastics and on Thursday will compete at Montgomery High School for the team championships. The individual qualifiers will head to their championships on Saturday, also at Montgomery. 

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HHS Gymnastics storms to fifth straight sectional title