The Winthrop/Lynn English co-op gymnastics team enjoyed an outstanding week, defeating three league opponents and setting both team and individual records in the process. The three victories also set the stage for a big showdown for first place with No. Andover that took place last night (Wednesday).
The Lady Vikings opened the week with a victory over Beverly last Monday, 137.7 to 136.25. Freshman Kayla Knight turned in an amazing performance, winning all four events.
“We needed Kayla to have a big night and she didn’t disappoint,” said head coach Pete Gobiel. “She keeps getting better every meet.”
Danika Dell’Anno also performed brilliantly, placing second on the vault and floor exercises and third on the balance beam. Jessica Fahey contributed mightily to the win with a third place on the uneven bars and a second on the balance beam.
Capt. Daria Millerick came through in a big way with a third on both the floor and beam and a fourth on the bars. Capt Missy Page chipped in with a third on the vault and a fourth on the floor.
Two days later, Winthrop took the measure of Hamilton Wenham Regional, 141.4 to 137.8, a final score that set a new Winthrop school record for total points.
“This was a fantastic performance and truly a team effort,” said Gobiel.
Knight took first on beam and floor and third on bars and vault, but she had plenty of help from her teammates in setting the record.
Jade Santangelo was superb, with a first place on bars, a first on vault, and fourth on floor. Danika Dell’Anno took second on vault, third on floor, and fourth on the bars and beam.
Jessica Fahey placed second on bars and beam, while Capt. Millerick grabbed second on floor and fourth on beam. The Lady Vikings also received a solid performance from Kristine Hegarty, who scored an “8” on all three events in which she competed. Another highlight of the victory was the effort by freshman Kristen Bartone, competing in her first meet, who scored a solid 8.1 on vault.
On Friday, Winthrop coasted to a 139.95 to 128.60 win over Salem. Knight set her third record in her first season as a freshman by scoring an impressive 9.5 on floor exercise for first place. Kayla also took first place on bars and vault and second on the beam, just missing another sweep of all four events.
“There are two records left for Kayla to break with three meets left in the regular season,” said Gobiel who noted that there are four events in women’s gymnastics, plus the all around score which is a combined total of the four. “Nobody has ever owned all five records,” continued Gobiel. “She has a legitimate shot before the season ends, which would be quite a remarkable accomplishment for anybody, let alone a freshman.”
Lady Vikings who also contributed to the victory in a big way were: Dell’anno with a first on beam and seconds on the vault and floor; Santangelo with a second on bars, a third on vault, and a tie for third with Millerick on floor; Fahey with a third on bars and a fourth on beam; and Hegarty with a fourth in the vault and a fifth on bars and floor.
Gobiel also lauded Sam Amico and Capt. Missy Page for hitting their routines.
Winthrop was set to face a crucial contest this week when the Lady Vikings hosted Andover Wednesday at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy in a battle for first place last night (Wednesday). Both teams stand at 5-1 on the season.
“At the beginning of the year we talked about getting by this week and putting ourselves in a position to challenge the top teams in the conference,” said Gobiel. “We haven’t won the conference title in 33 years, but we’ve put ourselves in the right place at the right time. The meet should come down to tenths of a point if everyone sticks their routines. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
The girls will host Masconomet next Wednesday at 7:00 at the Gymnastics Academy.