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MIAA GIRLS’ GYMNASTICS

Andover freshman has set the bar high for state meet

Mansfield’s Lily Goulding, pictured competing on bars, finished second in the all-around (36.775) at the South sectional meet at Hudson High.
Mansfield’s Lily Goulding, pictured competing on bars, finished second in the all-around (36.775) at the South sectional meet at Hudson High.Matthew Healey/For the Globe

FRANKLIN — The Mansfield High girls’ gymnastic team is the top seed for Saturday’s MIAA state meet at Algonquin Regional in Northboro. The Hornets were impressive in racking up 144.525 points at last week’s South sectional meet at Hudson High.

No gymnast stood taller, however, than Andover High freshman Paige Bukowski, who parlayed a 9.750 finish on her floor ex routine to the North all-around title (37.200), a tick higher than Shrewsbury’s Julia Schaefer (37.200) scored in the South meet.

On Tuesday morning, Bukowski, three of her teammates and assistant coach Jimmy Tomacchio made the drive to MIAA headquarters for the girls’ gymnastics Breakfast of Champions, an event created to acknowledge, and honor the eight squads that have advanced to the final.

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“[Paige] has developed so fast into a great gymnast throughout the regular season,” Tomacchio said.

“It was great to see her excel at sectionals and hopefully that can lead to another dominating performance this weekend.”

Andover (142.475) will be the fourth seed on Saturday, behind Mansfield, Medfield/Ashland/Dover-Sherborn (143.450/South), and Bridgewater-Raynham/West Bridgewater (142.925/South).

Bukowski, the top seed in the vault (9.550), beam (9.675), and floor, said she is focusing on perfecting her routines and staying healthy. The other coaches present (Mansfield did not attend) seconded the emphasis on health: it’s been a long season of performances and competitions.

Medway/Holliston/Millis will be minus one of its top gymnasts with a broken foot, sustained last Wednesday.

“I’ve been working really hard this season to get to this point and, luckily, I had my best performance at sectionals,” said Bukowski said. “I’m hoping to do my part next weekend to get a win for Andover.”

The final four seeds are Central Catholic (141.925/North), Medway/Holliston/Millis (140.575 /South), Newton South (138.825/North), and Beverly (138.700/North).


Brian Mozey can be reached at brian.mozey@globe.com. His Twitter handle is @BrianMozey.

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