Coach Stephanie Wagar was just as pleased with last  Wednesday night’s strong showing against gymnastics powerhouse Essex as she had been with a pair of wins to open the winter.

Kayleigh Bluto earned a top-four finish on the balance beam with an 8.1 score, while Essex’s Ella Lesny’s 8.6 led a 1-2-3 Hornet sweep ahead of Anna Charland (8.5) and Anneu Gleason (8.45).

Alexis Drown’s 7.7 in floor exercise was good for third place, trailing winner Allie Green of Essex with an 8.0 and  Hannah Poquette at 7.9. Essex swept the top four in uneven bars, led by Mya Dusablon with an 8.9, and in the vault, paced by Dusablon’s 8.7.

Essex finished at 129.6 and Milton 113.1.

“It has been an exciting start for Milton,” Wagar said. “We’ve won the first two meets of the season and this is the closest we’ve been to Essex in a long time. Which is pretty cool as they are No. 1 in the state.”

Milton had its deepest team in years, sending out 10 Yellowjackets to fill the event’s 24 slots spread over four events.

Drown took a night off from vying in all-around, competing just in her floor specialty and on the bars. Davilyn Bourne and Kaylee Shaw took on the all-around challenge Wednesday, while Bluto and Hailey Hemingway competed in three events each. Jaesa Barneo, Makaylah Mullins, and Sadie Pierce went twice, while Raelyn Bourne and Alexia Hathaway had one event apiece.