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Aleman finishes 2nd; Centaurs 4th at CIAC State Open championship

Woodstock Academy almost made it two in a row as far as individual State Open champions.

Sophomore Olivia Aleman came within 5/100th’s of a point to following in teammate Taylor Markley’s footsteps on Saturday as she finished second in the All-Around competition at the CIAC State Open championship at New Milford High School.

Markley finished first in the event a year ago.

The Centaurs finished fourth as a team.

Aleman finished with a 37.7 total but was just nipped by Emma Johnson of Fairfield Warde who finished with a 37.75 total.

“It was awesome. She really did her absolute best and that’s all you can ask for. We’re very proud of her,” Woodstock Academy coach Kasey Tocchio said.

Aleman finished tied with Plainfield’s Brenna Johnson, who is also a product of Deary’s Gymnastics, for first in the floor exercise with a 9.6. The Woodstock Academy sophomore was third in vault (9.45) and bars (9.2) and fourth on beam (9.45).

“She has been very consistent on the floor and she just had a clean routine (Saturday). Her beam was really great, too, but she had an uncharacteristic hit of her foot on bars which cost her a little bit,” Tocchio said.

Her performance earned her a trip to the New England championship which takes place on Saturday at Pinkerton Academy in New Hampshire.

Aleman will not be the only Centaur headed north.

Freshman Julia Kerr also put together a strong performance on floor (9.075) and beam (9.025) to also qualify for New England competition.

“Julia being a freshman and Olivia being only a sophomore, they’re just going to keep building on these feelings of success. Getting to New England’s will really help them for the next couple of years,” Tocchio said.

The team, as a whole, came in seeded fourth and had hopes of climbing the ladder into third place at least.

Unfortunately the other three teams involved had other ideas.

Daniel Hand of Madison placed first with a 141.75 total followed by Ellington/Tolland (138.6), Fairfield Warde (137.9) and the Centaurs (135.325).

“I’m happy. It was a really good learning year for us. We are a young team and a lot of the girls are going to come back next season and will remember this feeling and, hopefully, will work hard toward being even more successful next year,” Tocchio said.