Tomahawks stay a cut above.
NORTHBORO -Because of the blizzard, the Algonquin Regional girls' gymnastics team couldn't practice in its gym for three days.
But returning to action on the vault, beam, bars and floor on Monday night, the Tomahawks stirred up their own storm and captured their fifth straight Mid-Wach championship.
Algonquin, with 144.8 points, placed first, followed by Westboro High with 138 and Shrewsbury High with 136.
"I'm really proud of these girls. It was another strong performance," Algonquin coach Amelia Davis said. "Things are starting to come together at the right time for us. It was a slow build during the regular season because of the flu and mono and all sorts of things. We're finally healthy, and we're concentrating on the little things, and I think that's really going to serve us well as we continue into the postseason."
The Tomahawks, two-time defending state champions, were led by all-around winner Alissa Wood, plus Kate Gothing, who placed first in the balance beam, and Taryn Ryan, who was first in bars.
Algonquin's Chloe Herczeg was second all-around with 37.6 points, just behind Wood's 37.8.
Talking about Algonquin's dominance in this meet, Herczeg said: "I honestly think it's our team chemistry. We worked every day at practice and even pushed through injuries. When one person is in an event, we're all supporting her. It's hard to fall on the beam, for example, when you know you have to fight for your team."
"I think we're peaking at just the right time," Wood added.
About her gold medal-winning routine on the bars, Ryan said, "My teammates really helped me, especially on my dismount. I stuck it."
"I was particularly pleased with our beam lineup tonight," Davis said. "We had no falls, and three seniors Chloe, Kate and Alissa really stepped up. We hadn't been in the gym for three days because of the blizzard. It was nice to have the rest, but there's also those jitters because we hadn't touched the equipment in all that time."
Gothing earned an impressive 9.2 score on the beam, ending her routine with a difficult back tuck before flipping to a near-perfect landing.
Before her last moves on the beam, she paused and built up momentum. "What I keep repeating to myself at that point is `stick it, chest up and land it,'" Gothing explained.
With crowd-pleasing performances, Westboro's Sarah Steinberg took first place in the floor exercise and second on the beam. Her teammate, Courtney Ho, placed third in all-around.
"I definitely felt I was my best on beam," said Wood, a senior.
"I felt the best on floor, even though I did better on beam," Herczeg said.
Other strong performances by the Tomahawks were turned in by Kristen Michaud, third on beam and floor, and Jordan McStay, fourth on floor and vault. Sarah Baptiste placed fourth on bars.
Marlboro's Shanna Brasington was first in vault and second on floor. Shrewsbury's Shannon Bouffard tied for second in the vault.
Hudson was fourth at 130, followed by Marlboro (128) and Wachusett (120).
Shrewsbury's Heather Fulginiti was voted Coach of the Year.
Hudson's Kirsten Lally and Shrewsbury's Megan Yuen tied for Senior Gymnast of the Year. Hudson won the Sportsmanship Award.
Contact Jay Gearan at email@example.com.
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PHOTOG: T&G Staff Photos/BETTY JENEWIN
CUTLINE: (1) Algonquin's Kate Gothing competes on the bars during the Mid-Wach Gymnastics Championships. (2) Clockwise from left: Hudson's Rachel David competes on the balance beam, (3) Wachusett's Hannah McCarthy performs her floor exercise and (4) Marlboro's Kristen Anzalone finishes her routine on the beam.