By chris kelly Staff Writer Eagles give host Caseys closer meet than expected Sophomore Laura Flath leads Eagles to strong performance CHRIS KELLY Middletown South’s Jenny Fox performs a press hold during her balance beam routine in a meet at Red Bank Catholic High School last week. It’s generally a tough assignment going into a high school gymnastics meet against a team who consistently scores over 100 points. But while the possibility of beating such a team remains slim, teams can use such matches as a means of building confidence and serving notice that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. The Eagles of Middletown South traveled to Red Bank on Thursday to take on the Red Bank Catholic Caseys, one of the Shore Conference’s top teams, in just such a situation. Facing a talented Caseys squad, the Eagles performed admirably, giving the host team a stiff challenge, only to return home with a tough 105.65-93.525 defeat. Middletown South starting strong on the vault with a 24.85 team score, but faltered on the other three apparatuses. The Eagles were outscored 26.825-21.925 (uneven bars), 26.475-23.425 (balance beam) and 26.7-23.325 (floor exercise). Leading South in their uphill battle against the Caseys was Laura Flath, who scored 31.65 points through out the meet. Flath, a sophomore, began the meet with a third-place, 8.55, on the vault for her rendition of a “Yamashita,” which features a blind landing. After posting a 7.6 (second place) on the uneven bars, Flath included a back-tuck, a strong round-off, in her balance beam routine for an 8.0. She capped off her efforts with a 7.5 on the floor. In high school gymnastics the team score is the sum of your best three scores. Posting scores that were added to Flath to give the Eagles a fighting chance were: vault, Nikki Marciniak (8.1) and Truly Chin (8.2); uneven bars, Jenny Fox (7.275) and Julianne Toto (7.05); balance beam, Chin (7.9) and Toto (7.525); and floor, Toto (7.725) and Marissa Leston (8.1). Others scores awarded to the Eagles were Molly Gorman (vault, 7.35), Megan Doherty (vault, 7.6), Chin (uneven bars, 6.1), Marciniak (balance beam, 6.75), Fox (balance beam, 6.8), Shawna Dempsey (floor, 7.1) and Andrea Emanuele (floor, 6.2).