LYNNFIELD — Two local gymnasts are once again making an impact on the Masconomet/Lynnfield varsity gymnastics co-op team.

Junior Erica Richard serves as a tri-captain and specializes on bars, beam and floor, with beam being her strongest event. Sophomore Caitlin Clarizia competes in the all-around and is a particularly strong vaulter. The Chieftains are currently undefeated at 5-0 and both girls have contributed valuable points toward these victories.

First-year head coach Chelsea O’Hara said Richard is the only member of the team who performs a back tuck on the beam in competition. This skill gives her an edge over her opponents because it earns bonus points on the event and allows her “to have a higher start value.”

Clarizia’s vaulting skills also set her apart. O’Hara said she is the only member of the team to perform a “flipping vault” in competition “which has a much greater start value than the other vaults. Caitlin received a 9.0 on vault in the meet against Winthrop and Hamilton-Wenham, which was a huge help for us. And Erica always scores well on beam, in the high 8s.”

Masconomet won that tri-meet on Jan. 17, scoring 130.7 points to defeat both Winthrop (116.65 points) and Hamilton-Wenham (110.60 points). The next day, the Chieftains defeated the Gloucester Fishermen 133.8–124.85.

They opened the season with a win over Salem 133–97.8 on Jan. 3 followed by a 124–119 victory over Peabody on Jan. 5. The meet against the Danvers/North Reading co-op team on Jan. 10 was postponed until Jan. 31 and is now a tri-meet that also features another formidable opponent, Beverly.

Both athletes continue to perfect their skills in the other events as well. “Caitlin has been working very hard on floor, with a new floor routine containing all new dance and jumps,” O’Hara said, adding, “Erica has been working on different things to improve her routines on both bars and beam.”

“As for other girls on the team, Jordan Gallo and Caroline Sordello are my other two all-around girls and they have been improving so much this season. Jordan’s all around scores have been at the top of the league all season, and Caroline’s new bar routine has improved our overall bar score at every meet significantly,” their coach said.

The team is relatively young, with no seniors. Richard shares captain duties with two other juniors, Taylor Ciccarelli and Alexis Pugh. Coach O’Hara herself was a gymnast on the team not too long ago, competing for the Chieftains from 2006-2010.

The week ahead is an important one as the team prepares for its most competitive meet of the regular season on Saturday against Beverly and Danvers/North Reading.

While the scores of earlier meets this season weren’t very close, it will be a different situation on Saturday. “It will be the top three teams in the league going head to head against each other and everyone will have to be on their game to pull off the win. I anticipate it to be a very close and interesting meet on the 31st,” O’Hara said.