Warriors take 5th at North Sectionals

THE WARRIORS took 5th overall at North Sectionals on Feb. 22. (Wakefield Gymnastics Photo)

Published in the March 2, 2020 edition.


ALGONQUIN — North Sectionals is no longer unchartered territory for the Wakefield High gymnastics team.

This year marked Wakefield’s third straight visit to Algonquin High for the Massachusetts North Sectional Tournament featuring the 12 best teams in the north.

Much like their continued progress over the last three seasons, the Warriors got their best finish at sectionals this year on Feb. 22, getting 5th overall. The Warriors were 8th in 2018 and 6th last season.

“The team was awesome,” said head coach Rachel Lucas. “It’s great to see that we have improved each year over the last three years.”

Lucas and assistant coach Meg Delory are both, not coincidentally, in their third year leading the program. Helping guide the Warriors to sectionals two years ago was a surprise for a program that had struggled to win a meet over the past decade. Now, the Warriors, who finished the regular season at 7-1, have built a reputation that lets other top-notch programs in the north know that not only will they see Wakefield again next year, they will most likely see an even better Wakefield.

“Even though we didn’t win, we showed up and did our best,” said Lucas. “Sectionals is a big stage and the Wakefield gymnasts are showing they belong there.”

Wakefield’s 139.650 was better than Haverhill (136.975), Melrose (135.975), Stoneham (135.425), Danvers (132.350), Winthrop (132.325), North Andover (132.050) and Central Catholic (130.825).

Masconomet came in first with a 148.975 followed by Newton South (143.525), Reading (143.525) and CBT (141.075).

Wakefield’s best event was bars where they were the 3rd best team with a combined 34.425. The Warriors were led in the event by Lola Barrett who scored a 9.2. Barrett finished tied for 6th overall in all around with a 35.850. She had the 6th-best routine in the tournament on bars.

Sydney Yee had Wakefield’s second best all around score with a 33.65 tied for 16th overall.

“Lola and Sydney’s hard work and dedication to the sport as well as their dedication to improving themselves has been a motivation to the team all season long,” said Lucas.

Giana Liotine (14th overall on bars) scored an 8.525 on bars. Molly Grady (15th overall) scored an 8.450. Georgia Lamarre finished up the scoring with an 8.250.

Yee (8.2) and Elise Rich (7.65) also represented the Warriors on bars.

The Warriors were equally impressive on the beam (35.575) and the floor (35.825). They finished 4th overall in both events.

Lamarre led the way on the beam with a 9.2 that tied for 13th overall.

“Georgia’s consistency was an anchor to our success at sectionals as well as the entire season,” said Lucas.

Grady scored a 9.125.

“Molly (Grady) is such an asset to our team,” said Lucas. “She has been dealing with an injury all season long and she has been a great team player and a motivation to her teammates.”

Barrett (9.0) and Rich (8.25) finished up the scoring and Yee (8.225) and Courtney Collins (7.95) also competed on the beam.

Barrett had her best performance of the day on floor where her 9.3 tied for 5th overall. Lamarre had the next best score for the Warriors with a 9.1 followed by Grady (8.75) and Liotine (8.675).

Yee (8.625) and Jessie Maffe (8.45) also competed on floor.

The Warriors scored a 33.825 on vault where they were led by  Liotine (8.625), Yee (8.6), Barrett (8.35) and Rich (8.25). Maffe (8.15) and Emma Callahan (7.65) also competed on vault.

Their success at sectionals was preceded by strong performances at state individuals where six qualified: Barrett (all around), Liotine (bars/vault), Yee (bars), Rich (bars/beam), Grady (bars/beam) and Lamarre (bars/beam/floor).

Barrett finished 10th all around, 5th on floor and 6th on bars.

Grady placed 7th on bars.

Lamarre placed 7th on beam.

The Warriors will finally get a chance to celebrate another terrific season, their best in recent memory. That’s a common theme that the Warriors will try to make happen again next season.

In addition to captain Elise Rich, Wakefield will graduate captain Sophie Ell, captain Kaylee Souza, Margot Bridge and Sydney Sellers. Together they helped lead the Warriors into a new era of Wakefield gymnastics; an era of success that they are getting used to.