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South Gymnastics: Consistent scores lift Mansfield to title

February 26, 2017 GMT

HUDSON — This year’s South girls gymnastics sectional was billed as one of the most competitive of recent memory, and it was Mansfield that emerged victorious.

Posting scores of 36-plus on all four events, the Hornets took the sectional crown by defeating runner-up Medfield/Ashland/Dover Sherborn, 144.525-143.45, yesterday at Hudson High.

“We were very consistent today,” said Mansfield assistant coach Lisa Anastos. “I think we scored 36 on every event, so for us, that was big.”

The Hornets began their meet with a stuck balance beam rotation, and it built their confidence for the remainder of the day.

“We started on beam, and beam can be a tough event,” said Anastos. “Five out of six stayed on the beam, so mentally that put us right where we needed to be.”

Solid all-around performances by sophomore Julia Hill and freshman Lily Goulding propelled Mansfield throughout the day. And by the time the Hornets entered their final rotation, the uneven bars, they knew the title was theirs if they hit.

“(Before uneven bars) one of the gymnasts, I think she said it best,” said Anastos. “She said, ‘Trust my practice,’ In other words, do what you do everyday and don’t over think it. I think that was important.”

Chloe Covell led MADS to their second-place finish with a 35.85 all-around score.

“Chloe always brings consistency,” said MADS coach Jennifer Libin. “She bring so much energy to the team, and she really brings it everyday. She is really a leader to the girls, and it shows.”

In fifth place halfway through the meet, top-seeded Bridgewater-Raynham/West Bridgewater bounced back to finish third with a score of 142.925. Their leap in the standings was helped by the career-best 9.5 floor exercise by Olivia Keyes. The freshman opened her meet-closing routine with a double back, and added powerful dance to elicit huge cheers from the entire gym.

“To do that at South sectionals, last event, last girl up and everybody watching, I couldn’t be prouder,” said B-R/WB coach Stephen Cudworth.

Medway/Holliston/Millis rounded out the top four to earn the last team spot in Saturday’s state championship meet with a score of 140.575.

For the first time in five years, Barnstable will not be defending its state championship. The 12-time titlists found themselves on the outside looking in with an 11th-place finish.