WMass gymnastics: Catrina Touchette second on floor, fifth in all-around for third-place Hampshire

  • Catrina Touchette, of Hampshire Regional, performs on the uneven bars during a regular-season meet against Minnechaug and Westfield in Westhampton. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

For the Gazette
Saturday, November 11, 2017

WESTFIELD — Smooth piano filled the Westfield High School gymnasium. Hampshire Regional’s Catrina Touchette rose from the floor and gently floated across the mat. Then the music cut out, and when it returned the beat was thumping and the sophomore captain switched into a higher gear.

Roundoff back handspring, full. Front handspring stamp out, roundoff, back handspring, back handspring, back tuck. Roundoff back handspring, back layout. Then stick the landing.

That’s the routine Touchette nailed to place second on the floor and fifth in the all-around competition at the Western Massachusetts Championships. Touchette’s 9.150 trailed only Kyla Miller’s 9.350 in the floor event. Miller won the all-around and led Minnechaug to the team championship.

“Floor has always been my favorite,” Touchette said. “It’s just something I really enjoy so I go out there and have fun.”

Hampshire Regional placed third in the team competition with its highest score of the season. The Raiders’ 129 points beat Chicopee Comp and Agawam, but fell short of Westfield (132.775) and Minnechaug (134.125). Minnechaug’s victory ended Westfield’s decade-long winning streak at the championships.

“We feel great,” Hampshire Regional coach Lisa Anthony said. “We came in knowing we’d be third, hoping we’d still be third at the end.”

The Raiders had their best scores of the season on the floor and vault in addition to their best overall total.

Two Raiders placed in the first event, beam. Touchette took fifth with an 8.1, and Maura Joseph tied for fourth with an 8.3. Minnechaug’s Samantha Druckenmiller topped the podium in the event.

Miller won the vault with an 8.975. On her first attempt, she launched off the apparatus and tucked into a double front flip but skidded off the mat. She leaped again and stuck the landing clean on her second try.

Joseph placed fifth (8.45) and Touchette took third (8.5) in the event. Touchette started to twist before touching the vault then finished the corkscrew in the air and landed with a flourish.

Westfield’s Kylie Liptak won the bars competition with an 8.725. Liptak spun twice around the high bar in long circles then soared out into space in a perfect parabola.

On the floor, Touchette’s intricate routine took second and Joseph claimed sixth place with an 8.725.

In the all-around competition, Touchette placed fifth. The top three gymnasts were Miller (35.250), Druckenmiller (34.525) and Westfield’s Mairead Hagan (34.175).

The teams gathered on the floor mat to wait for the results. Minnechaug’s Autumn Bradway won the senior gymnast award. Then there was an extended wait as the judges calculated the final results. When the winner was announced, Minnechaug jumped to its feet in celebration as the Western Mass. champions.