MONTGOMERY – The NJSIAA state team championship usually is the end of the road in gymnastics. For Bishop Ahr, it might be the beginning.
With a freshmen-driven team, the Trojans placed seventh at Thursday’s meet, posting a score of 107.900 in their return to the big stage after a rare one-year absence.
“I am nothing but proud of them,” head coach Caitlin Miller said. “We are very young this year. When we began the season people were expecting we would be what we were last year — not so deep, not so talented.”
Instead, the Trojans regained the Greater Middlesex Conference title and won their North 2 sectional despite losing senior captain Sidne Powers to a broken hand.
“It’s one of those things where you can let it tear your team down or you can get stronger from it,” Miller said. “For us being so young, we got stronger.”
On Thursday, Bishop Ahr got a strong all-around performance from Ariyana Agarwala, who tallied 37.750 points. That ranked fourth among all competitors, behind only St. John Vianney’s Kristen Politz (38.375), Ramapo’s Samantha Marion (38.050) and Red Bank Catholic’s Ally Cucich (37.900).
Agarwala recorded the meet’s second-highest scores on floor (9.725) and bars (9.575).
Collectively, the trouble spot for Ahr came on the bars. The Trojans managed just 25.625 points there. They had four freshmen competing there.
“Today I had four freshmen, one junior and one sophomore in the lineup,” Miller said. “They’ll be motivated from this. It’s a learning experience. They’ll work hard and they’ll be back.”
The season concludes Saturday with the NJSIAA individual championships, also at Montgomery High School. The meet starts at 11 a.m.
Team scores: 1. Red Bank Catholic 112.925; 2. St. John Vianney 112.650; 3. Colts Neck 110.800; 4. Hillsborough 110.725; 5. Ramapo 109.250; 6. Ridgewood 108.425; 7. Bishop Ahr 107.900; 8. Ocean Township 105.725; 9. Washington Township 105.250; 10. Howell 105.025.
Staff writer Jerry Carino: email@example.com .