MONTGOMERY, NJ — The Watchung Hills Gymnastics Team finished in 3rd place Thursday night at the state tournament, saving its best performance for last.
The Warriors performed like they'd been there before in their first-ever appearance at the NJSIAA team championship,  finishing third with a score of 109.400. Top-ranked Red Bank Catholic came away with the first place trophy for its first state win since 2002, racking up a total of 111.925. As expected, Ramapo repeated as runner up with 110.7.
Not bad for a team that came in seeded eighth. On the floor exercise, Anne Meringolo (9.475) and Morgan Durant (9.350) led the way and in the vault, it was Meringolo (9.350) and Durant (9.300).Scoring on bars for Watchung Hills were Alexis Tekin (9.600), Meringolo (9.475), Durant (9.325) and Lauren Cunningham (8.425).
Watchung Hills edged out previously unbeaten Hillsborough who finished fourth at 108.850. It was especially sweet for the Warriors who finished behind Hillsborough in the Somerset County and Skyland Conference championships.

The NJSIAA individual championship will conclude the season on Saturday. The meet starts at 11 a.m. at Montgomery.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Red Bank Catholic 111.925; 2. Ramapo 110.700; 3. Watchung Hills 109.400; 4. Hillsborough 108.850; 5. Ocean Township 108.825; 6. Westfield 108.675; 7. Ridgewood 106.425; 8. Holmdel 105.450; 9. South Plainfield 104.575; 10. Brick Memorial 100.250.