SALEM — Brittany Capozzi hasn’t had the easiest gymnastics season, dealing with what her coach called a “chronic medical condition.”
But it didn’t keep her from competing at the New Hampshire state gymnastics meet yesterday at Salem High.
“It could have prevented her from competing today,” coach Chelsie Veilleux said. “We did a lot of preventatory things in the beginning and we were able to get her there. She took second (all-round) and that’s really something to be proud of and the fact that she was able to compete. She missed states last year because of the same issues.”
Capozzi scored a 36.15 to take second in the all-around while teammate Kaylee Pacunas earned fifth in the all-around. They led the Astros to the team title, their fourth title in five years.
Pinkerton scored 138.425 points. Salem finished in second (133.375) and Bishop Guertin came in third (128.275).
Salem sophomore Nina Whittaker won the all-around (36.25).
“For her (Capozzi) to be able to perform at the level that she did was phenomenal and Kaylee had a little rough start on vault but she came back and rallied on the bars, beam and floor and really had strong showings,” Veilleux said.
Capozzi, a junior, is being recruited by Division I schools, said Veilleux.
“It’s actually a very rare medical condition that there’s no trigger known,” Veilleux said. “And it’s very rare in the United States. She’s spent time in Children’s Hospital. It’s pretty severe so we’re always a little panic stricken. Didn’t know if we could get her here. It was going to be a game-time decision. We had our backups ready.
“Hopefully, we’ll have her healthy for New Englands so can really compete to her potential.”
Capozzi has come a long way despite not being a club gymnast.
“Every single (other) girl you saw on the podium today is a club gymnast,” Veilleux said. “They train outside (high school). Brittany does not. It’s natural, raw talent she puts into high school so it’s pretty phenomenal for a non-club gymnast to get up on the podium. ... I think that says a lot about her and her determination and her work ethic.”
Hurt back, no problem
Whittaker, meanwhile, won the all-around while also winning the bars (9.0) and floor (9.35) with a hurt back.
“I’m able to work through it,” she said.
Whittaker’s performance motivated Capozzi.
“She’s very talented,” Capozzi said. “Just from not (competing) in states last year and coming back, having a little bit of competition, it makes me want to do better. She’s very good.”
The Astros won despite none of their gymnasts earning an individual win.
“I think we all just did our best,” Capozzi said. “And we went out there and we nailed all of our routines. That’s what we do in practice.”
The Astros reclaimed the team title after Salem won it last year.
Last winter, the Blue Devils upset the then top-seeded and three-time defending champion Astros.
“We were a few people down, a few people injured (last year) and it was depressing,” said Pacunas, who likely will be competing at Ithaca College. “But we all went and gave it our best. So you can’t be disappointed with that. We tried. But this year, it was an amazing comeback, especially because it’s my last year.”
Pinkerton entered yesterday undefeated and left undefeated.
“It is a team effort,” Veilleux said. “We count four scores so we could put up two greats ones (with Pacunas and Capozzi) but we need those two other ones to keep us going. Our depth can really step up and fill that. We’re lucky that our four below them are pretty much equal so we can take a miss or two like we did today. ... We had only about three misses but the others were able to pull out some great performances, which we needed.”
N.H. State Meet
Team scoring (16 teams): 1. Pinkerton 138.425; 2. Salem 133.375; 3. Bishop Guertin 128.275; 4. Londonderry 124.625; 5. Pelham 115.925; 8. Windham 110.725
Vault: 1. Madison Britting (Londonderry) 9.3; 2. Nina Whittaker (Salem) 9.275; 3. Brittany Capozzi (Pinkerton) 9.125; 6. Kadianne Tommasi (Salem) 8.6; Bars: 1. Whittaker (Salem) 9.0; 2. Capozzi (Pinkerton) 8.825; 3. Kaylee Pacunas (Pinkerton) 8.725; 4. Britting (Londonderry) 8.65; 5. Tommasi (Salem) 8.575; Beam: 2. Capozzi (Pinkerton) 9.1; 3. Pacunas (Pinkerton) 8.9; 4. Sara Fisher (Pelham) 8.65; 5. Whittaker (Salem) 8.625;
Floor: 1. Whittaker (Salem) 9.35; 3tie Capozzi (Pinkerton) and Pacunas (Pinkerton) 9.1; 5. Kylie Muzerall (Pinkerton) 9.05; 6tie. Jacqueline Bogaczyk (Pinkerton) and Juliana Iarrobino (Pinkerton) 8.9; All-around: 1. Whittaker 36.25; 2. Capozzi (Pinkerton) 36.15; 4. Britting (Londonderry) 35.025; 5, Pacunas (Pinkerton) 34,875