Merancy is top valley gymnast

Naugatuck's Kassie Merancy, spotted by Pomperaug coach Hal Rettstadt, performs on the uneven bars during last Thursday's informal NVL championships. Merancy won the event with a score of 8.75 and the all-around title.

Naugatuck's Kassie Merancy, spotted by Pomperaug coach Hal Rettstadt, performs on the uneven bars during last Thursday's informal NVL championships. Merancy won the event with a score of 8.75 and the all-around title.

NEW MILFORD — The title is strictly unofficial—it didn’t even make the afternoon announcements at Naugatuck High School last Friday—but Kassie Merancy is the Naugatuck Valley League’s all-around gymnastics champion.

The Greyhounds senior bested a small field last Thursday at New Milford High School, with a total of 34 points. She won her best event, the uneven bars, with a score of 8.75 and the balance beam with an 8.65. Her 8.3 on the floor exercise was good for second, and the same score on vault placed her in a second-place tie with Paige Wilde of Holy Cross. Wilde, a borough resident, was the overall runner-up with a final tally of 31.65 points.

Gymnastics is, of course, not an NVL-sponsored sport, so technically there’s no such thing as an NVL championship. Girls from NVL schools practice and compete with Pomperaug High in Southbury. They’re not part of the Panthers’ team, but where Pomperaug goes, these teams of one go.

That includes last week’s South West Conference championships. For several years now, the NVL gals have held their own, informal meet in conjunction with the SWC competition.

Despite her solo status, Merancy is a three-time all-state selection and this year is tied for seventh in the state’s uneven bars ranking. She will compete at the State Open March 6 at New Milford.