Most sports are said to be “a game of inches.” But in gymnastics (as well as figure skating), close contests are measured in tenths of a point, or even hundredths.
Such was the case for the Winthrop/Lynn English gymnastics team in their meet with first place No. Andover last week at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy, as the visitors from up north edged the local squad by a score of 140.60 to 139.75, a margin of 0.85.
Not only was that absolute margin close, but when one considers that the number of points awarded for the meet totaled 280.35, the No. Andover difference amounted to a minuscule 0.30 percent of the total points.
“We lost a heartbreaker,” said WHS head coach Pete Gobiel. “We knew all along the meet was going to be close and like all meets, it comes down to staying on the beam. An age old rule in gymnastics is that if you want to win close meets by tenths of a point, then you have to stick beam.
“It was our toughest beam day of the season and our scores weren’t that bad either,” continued the coach. “Capt. Missy Page was the only one out of six girls to hit beam.” Gobiel also lauded the efforts of Danika Dell’anno and Jade Santangelo on vault.
One highlight of the match was the new team record of a 9.2 score set by freshman Kayla Knight on vault, Kayla’s fourth record setting performance this season. She now holds the individual records on beam, vault, floor, and bars.
“There is only one record left for her to break and it’s the hardest one, the all around,” said Gobiel, who noted that the Winthrop mark presently is held by last year’s captain, Nicole Gennaco, who accumulated 36.6 points on the four exercises. “You need to average a little better than a 9.0 on every event, which is not an easy thing to do,” said Gobiel.
Knight will have two more meets in which to set that record. Both meets are at home, last night (Wednesday) against Masconomet and this Friday against Gloucester at 7:00 p.m.
“Our team goal is to score 140 points in these last two meets,” noted Gobiel. “That means we have to be at our best on every event.”