Andover gymnast Brian Manning spent more than 30 hours per week training in the offseason after a fall in the still rings event cost him the All-Around State Championship last winter.
“I was so mad about that,” Manning said. “I was really putting in the effort and I wanted to win it because it was such a small error that I was disappointed about it.”
This time, the senior captain was nearly flawless as he won all six events and captured the All-Around Championship at Braintree with 55 points, helping Andover to its first MIAA Boys’ Gymnastics State Championship since 1970.
“I can’t say I’ve ever had this feeling before,” Manning said. “It shows me that everything has paid off. It’s an honor that I was on the team that brought the title back to Andover.”
Andover coach Steve Sirois was a freshman when the Golden Warriors last won the championship.
“It’s very exciting for the kids and the school,” said Sirois, who has coached for 32 years. “We’re one of the original towns that started gymnastics 55 years ago, so it’s very exciting.”
The Golden Warriors finished with 164.55 points. Lowell, which placed fifth last year, finished second with 156.4 points, and defending state champion Burlington finished third with 149.8.
It took Andover 43 years to recapture the title, and it won’t defend it next season.
On Jan. 16, the MIAA board of directors voted to end sponsorship of the sport. The National Federation of High School Sports, the parent organization to the MIAA, announced it would no longer write the rules for the sport, effective next season.
The MIAA also recognized that only seven of the state’s 370-member schools sponsor gymnastics.
“I think it’s difficult for the participants who love the sport,” said MIAA assistant director Pete Smith.
However, Braintree athletic director Michael Denise said that the sport could exist in some capacity moving forward — either as a club sport or through meets sanctioned by the coaches’ association.
“USA Gymnastics said they are more than willing to write rules for the sport to continue,” Denise said. “There is not [a coaches’ association], but one will be formed for the sport to continue.’’
Burlington 76, Wilmington 70 — Junior guard Shane Farley finished with a school-record 50 points in the Red Devils’ road win.
Reading 70, Woburn 60 — Senior Chris Godwin and junior Drew Belcher each had 21 points for the Rockets. Junior Nate Clarke had 12 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, and coach Paul Morrissey got his 200th career win.
Fenway will be unable to defend its title at next week’s city tournament after a two-week investigation concluded Friday that the Panthers must forfeit at least three victories this season.
Boston schools’ athletic director Ken Still said Fenway broke an MIAA rule that prohibits players from participating in more than four quarters per day, not including overtime. Still said Fenway played JV players for too long during the varsity games in question. The defending Division 4 state champions will forfeit two wins against Latin Academy and at least one victory against South Boston, which places South Boston in first place in the Boston City League North division, Latin Academy in second, and Fenway in third. The top two teams qualify.