by Caroline Baldwin
Not only did Westfield stun the crowd with their new black, blue and silver sparkly leotards, but they also shined their way to a second consecutive victory at the twelfth Cougar Classic last Friday at Cranford High School. The team had a collective score of 109.15, beating out the second place team, ALJ, by 6.5 points. Head Coach Melissa Greenwald said: “My girls were right on tonight.…I couldn’t have asked for a better performance.”
The six teams at the Cougar Classic were allowed to enter four girls to compete in each event. The night started off with vault as junior Jenna Rizkalla earned gold with a score of 9.525. Rizkalla, who has only been able to participate in gymnastics for five months since dislocating her elbow, was named all-around champion with a score of 36.125.
Said Rizkalla: “It feels great being the all-around champion. I feel like I’ve been working hard, and it all paid off.”The team erupted in cheers when the girls landed their most difficult moves. According to Rizkalla, cheering is her favorite part of competing.
“I know that if I don’t do the best routine, they wouldn’t get mad, but they would try and lift my spirits up,” she added.
Throughout the night, WHS came out strong and took honors in the other three events: uneven bars, balance beam and floor. Senior Abby Cook captured gold in the uneven bars with a score of 9.1; Rizkalla was a close second with a score of 8.525.
Later, junior Hannah Goldring took the honors in both floor and balance beam with scores of 9.25 and 9.45 respectively. The Blue Devils dominated the balance beam, landing all top three finishes. Cook took second with a score of 9.4, and junior Mae Devin snatched third with a score of 9.15.
According to Greenwald, the Blue Devils are hoping to win the Union County championship, capture Sectionals and make it to States as a team.