By Jake Freudberg and Edwin Wang
The Newton South girls’ gymnastics team defeated Westford Academy 134.5-129.2 on Thursday night at their home gym at Newton North High School to improve their record to 4-0.
Going into the meet, the Lions knew that perennial foe Westford – who was co-champion of the Dual County League with Newton South last year – posed a challenge.
“Westford has always been one of our biggest rivals and some of our strongest people graduated last year, so we knew we would have to hit everything to win,” senior captain Hernandez said.
Strong performances from Hernandez and sophomore Julie Schoen propelled the Lions to a victory against Westford.
Junior co-captain Ally Youngsman, who competed on bars and beam, was thrilled with the win.
“They are our toughest competitors,” Youngsman said. “I honestly don’t think there were any lows from [the meet].”
Hernandez, who was returning from a fractured ankle, explained that the team capitalized on gaining more points from making their routines stronger.
“Everyone on the team had clean routines, and we had some people coming back from injuries that really came through that night. We’ve been working on getting some more points from more difficult routines, especially on vault, and that went really well.”
While the team overall was happy with how the meet went, they still see room for improvement.
“I think we can definitely work harder to clean up our routines because we still had some minor mistakes,” junior Emily Goetzler, who competed on vault, bars, and floor, said.
Hernandez agreed, and added that if the team continues to improve, they hope to see success in postseason competition.
“We’re going to try to get a few more solid team scores to qualify to Sectionals, and hopefully make states from there,” Hernandez said. “I think if we can get a little more difficulty in our routines and work on making them clean, we might be able to stay undefeated in the regular season and aim for DCL champions.”
The Lions hope to extend their record to 5-0 when they host Acton-Boxboro on Thursday January 26 at Newton North.