CHICOPEE – 154 … 155 … 156 … 157 and … oh so good!
The Westfield High School gymnastics team added another piece of hardware to its trophy case Saturday night, winning its ninth straight West Sectional title at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
Westfield fought through a slew of injuries and finished first at the gymnastics championships with a score of 136.45 to complete another perfect season, and extend its record decade-long record to 157-0.
The Bombers defeated the Minnechaug Falcons (134.025) by more than two points. Hampshire (130.475), Chicopee (126.1), and Agawam (123.625) rounded out the rest of the field.
“This year was special,” Westfield coach Beth Liquori said. “The girls pulled together as a team to overcome adversity.”
Westfield junior Liz Walker, who missed three straight meets due to concussion-like symptoms, rose past the competition to emerge as the top All-Around gymnast Saturday.
Walker managed to post the best All-Around score (35.050) with a gold medal finish on vault (9.0), second place on the balance beam (8.85) and uneven bars (8.55), and seventh on floor exercise (8.650).
“I was definitely nervous,” said Walker, who entered Saturday’s championship meet without competing or practicing in nearly three weeks. “My head felt like it would come off my shoulders.”
Walker, in fact, turned in a head-turning performance from the outset. She started off on the right foot, stepping onto the vault, where she excelled in stunning fashion.
“This season was rough,” Walker said. “A lot of things that could go wrong did go wrong unexpectedly, but we pulled through like a family.”
Westfield’s community of gymnasts made the All-Around competition a family affair. Bombers’ Emma Kotfilia was runner-up with a 34.725; Mairead Hagan claimed fourth overall (33.525).
Kotfilia placed first on beam (9.025) and bars (8.85) to help fuel her All-Around run. Hagan shined on the bars (3rd, 8.525), beam (5th, 8.5), and vault (5th, 8.2).
Westfield’s Kendall Neidig finished fifth on the bars (8.3), Avery Farguharson placed sixth on the beam (8.35), and Carly Thayer claimed ninth on floor (8.55).
MIAA GIRLS’ SOCCER WEST DIVISION 3 QUARTERFINALS
No. 3 Southwick 2, No. 6 South Hadley 1
Southwick avenged a 2014 tournament loss to South Hadley with a thrilling win over the Tigers Saturday.
Liz Tenerowicz had a hand in both goals, scoring one and assisting on the other – a Sam Perusse score. Tori Richburg made two saves.
MIAA GIRLS’ SOCCER WEST DIVISION 4 QUARTERFINALS
Van Heynigen kicks Gators into semis
No. 3 Gateway 3, No. 6 Mount Everett 1
Jessica Van Heynigen scored two goals, and Samantha Belardo had one to send Gateway into the semifinals. Gators’ goalie Becca Herman finished with four saves.