The Winthrop and Lynn English Co-op gymnastics team is off to a strong start, defeating two of three opponents and putting up the kind of scores that rate the squad as one of the best on the North Shore.
â€œThe girls are working hard and improving all the time,â€ said WHS head coach Pete Gobiel, who is back at the helm of the Winthrop program after a seven year absence. â€œThe Northeastern Conference traditionally is the strongest league in the state and our scores show that weâ€™re at the top of the pack.â€
Winthrop opened its season against Peabody, a team that had defeated Winthrop by three points last year. However, the Winthrop/English girls turned the tables on the Lady Tanners to win by a 133 to130 margin.
Winthrop/English had even better results against Marblehead, cruising to a 137.25 to 127 victory. The lone defeat came at the hands of perennial power Danvers, 140-137.25.
The team is led by senior captains Melissa Page and Daria Millerick. â€œMelissa worked very hard during the off season and sheâ€™s really come into her own,â€ said Gobiel. â€œDaria is coming off a back injury and is doing great.â€
A big surprise for Gobiel has been the performance of ninth grader Kayla Knight, who has been a huge addition to the team. The Lynn English freshman already has broken two team records in the bar and beam events.
Other members of the team who have been top point scorers thus far are juniors Danica Dellano and Jackie Santangelo and sophomores Sam Acone and Christine Hagerty.
â€œWe have the most depth of any team I can remember,â€ noted Gobiel. â€œAlthough the rules allow each team to only place two girls in all four events (in order to allow as many team members as possible to compete), we have six girls who could do well as all around gymnasts.â€
Gobiel and his crew have a busy schedule ahead. They took on Beverly on Monday and Hamilton Wenham yesterday (Wednesday) and travel to Salem Friday. They will host No. Andover next Wednesday.