SHREWSBURY - With an explosive vault rotation and a solid performance on the floor, the Algonquin girls’ gymnastics team repeated as state champions last night at Shrewsbury High School. The Tomahawks won the championship with a final score of 143.700 points.
“It’s hard to describe, you kind of go into the next season after winning a state championship thinking, ‘Well maybe we can repeat,’ ’’ said Algonquin coach Amelia Davis.
“We knew what we had to do coming into here and we stuck together as a team.’’
Beverley finished a surprise second (141.550) after winning the beam with a score of 36.575. Chelmsford came in third overall (141.525) and top-seeded Andover took fourth (140.850). Fifth-place Wellesley (139.600) took the title on uneven bars, racking up 35.625 points.
The Tomahawks came into the meet as the second seed after stumbling in last weekend’s South Sectional. Algonquin still won the sectional, but Davis credited that adversity with helping yesterday.
“I think it was a good thing for them to stumble [last week],’’ Davis said. “We won it, but we didn’t have a good meet. In a way, that worked to our favor because we knew we could have a good meet today and that’s what we needed to do.
“We liked coming in as the [No. 2] seed, we liked the chasing. I think there was some pressure to repeat.’’
The Tomahawks went into the final rotation with the lead, but solidified their presence with a huge rotation on vault, finishing with a 37.000, the meet’s top score in any apparatus. Senior Katya Kori won the vault with a 9.700, while teammate Chloe Herczeg finished second (9.650).
In the week leading up to the meet, Algonquin changed its vault lineup. Herczeg, who had been injured and hadn’t competed in vault all season, got the call.
“We had to hit vault, and that’s what we did,’’ Davis said. “We said to [Herczeg], ‘We need you,’ and she put in the work this week and she did her job tenfold today.”
Algonquin began the meet on bars (34.525), its worst event of the meet and then moved to beam, where it finished second with a 36.325. Algonquin junior Alissa Wood was the meet’s high scorer on the beam with a 9.575.
Floor was third for the Tomahawks, and is their strongest event. They stuck the rotation, collecting 35.850 points, best of the eight competing teams.
Eleanor Almeida of Chelmsford placed first in bars (9.450) and floor (9.450) in taking the all-around title with 37.075 points.