NEW MILFORD — In girls gymnastics, victory can be decided by 1/10 of a point.
So the best plan is to put your best foot forward and see the team scores at the end.
New Milford and Pomperaug each displayed the tactic in full force Thursday night at the SWC Gymnastics Championship at New Milford’s gym.
Well, after every toe and every great performance was tabulated, both schools went home happy as New Milford and Pomperaug tied for the SWC team title with 140.050 points.
Two-time defending champ Newtown was no slouch in the proceedings as the Nighthawks took third place just .250 back at 139.900.
“Our girls chased every point all night long,” Pomperaug coach Hal Rettstadt said said. “We got a strong start on vaulting. And the girls kept rising to the occasion. You need four scorers to win a team title and that what we got from our group.”
New Milford proved to be the perfect hosts as the Green Wave even had two separate SWC Championship banners on hand so both teams could take the prerequisite championship photos for posterity.
The Green Wave had two banners on hand Thursday since it hosted the league dance championship last Monday, which crowns champs in two different dance divisions.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” New Milford coach Bethany Mihaly said. “Our program has lost a team title by .1 points and 0.5 points. I’ve never seen a tie for the team title before. It’s unusual but we’re happy to be co-champs. And for Newtown to be so close (.150 points) in third place is unbelievable.”
It shouldn’t have come as a total shock as New Milford, Pomperaug and Newtown battled each other this close throughout the regular season.
“This was a rebooting year for us,” New Milford’s Mihaly said. “We graduated seven seniors. Our roster is 60 percent freshmen and sophomores.”
“We hoped to get the team title. But to accomplish it was unexpected,” Pomperaug’s Rettstadt said. “It has always been a friendly rivalry with New Milford. That school has been so supportive to the sport of gymnastics. This is the best ending for all the parties.”
Leading the way for Pomperaug was junior Sara Myrvold, an exchange student from Norway.
Myrvold earned the tournament MVP award, winning the vault (9.6), beam (9.2) and all-around (37.150) as well as being runnerup on uneven bars (9.2).
“It’s a big, big thing for me. To come from Norway and see the competition and team spirit in this event is amazing,” Myrvold said. “I didn’t have any expectations. I’m happy and it’s fun getting medals and the MVP plaque. Everybody on this team is so supportive of each other.”
The star of the evening for New Milford was freshman Hailey Best. She won floor exercise (9.45) and uneven bars (9.45) and was runnerup in all-around (36.8) and vault (8.9).
“It’s exciting to be the first New Milford High team to put up a championship banner in 2020. It’s wonderful to show the school how great girls gymnastics is,” Best said. “I’ve worked really hard in this sport since age 2. To be able to accomplish feats like this with all these amazing teammates means so much. I know they always have my back.”
Pacing the outstanding effort for Newtown was Hannah Jojo. She was third in the all-around (35.85), runnerup on beam (9.1) and floor exercise (9.2) and third on bars (9.05).
SWC GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIP
At New Milford HS
TEAM SCORES: 1, (tie) New Milford, Pomperaug 140.050 points; 3, Newtown 139.900; 4, Joel Barlow 132.700; 5, Oxford 130.650; 6, Nonnewaug 130.300.
ALL-AROUND: 1, Sara Myrvold (Pomperaug) 37.150 points (tourney MVP); 2, Hailey Best (New Milford) 36.8; 3, Hannah Jojo (Newtown) 35.85; 4, Marisa Choi (Newtown) 35.35; 5, Alaina Karp (Pomperaug) 34.95; 6, Anna Gramlich (Oxford) 34.55.
BEAM: 1, Myrvold (Pomp) 9.2; 2, Jojo (Newt) 9.1; 3, Kaitlin Yeaton (Newt) 9.05; 4, (tie), Best (New Milford); Karp (Pomp), Annabelle Montero (Nonnewaug) 9.0.
FLOOR EXERCISE: 1, Best (NM) 9.45; 2, Jojo (Newt) 9.2; 3, Myrvold (Pomp) 9.15; 4, (tie) Karp (Pomp), Marisa Choi (Newt) 9.0; 6, Lexi Donnelly (NM) 8.9.
VAULT: 1, Myrvold (Pomp) 9.6; 2, Best (NM) 8.9; 3, Karp (Pomp) 8.85; 4, (tie) Rachel Nelson (Bethel), Nicole Bobbie (Oxford) 8.8; 6, Choi (Newt) 8.7.
UNEVEN BARS: 1, Best (NM) 9.45; 2, Myrvold (Pomp) 9.2; 3, Jojo (Newt) 9.05; 4, (Tie)Mary Locke (Newt) Riley Herring (NM) 8.85; 6, Skylar Mugavin (Pomp) 8.8.