By Gianna Addario
---- — For the second year in a row the unbeaten Beverly gymnastics team earned the No. 2 seed at the North Sectional Meet that will take place Saturday, Feb. 25 at Hudson High School.
Beverly, which finished with a season average score of 142.925, came in just behind top seeded Newton South (143.11875).
“I am definitely happy with our seed,” said head coach Lauryn Ginsburg. “Of course it’s always nice to be the top seed, but honestly this gives us the advantage of moving up a spot at sectionals, versus having the pressure of being seeded first and keeping that place throughout the meet.
“Once we get to sectionals every team has the same judges and competes on the same equipment so the best team will come out on top.”
The Panthers (9-0) have established themselves as one of the elite teams on the North Shore and hope to carry that momentum into sectionals.
Since Beverly is seeded second, the girls will start on bars, then beam, followed by floor and finish on vault.
“It’s the same rotation we had last year both at Sectionals and at States and it worked really well for us,” explained Ginsburg. “Getting bars and beam out of the way in the first half of the meet is nice, since those are the harder events where you can suffer more falls.
“Last year we finished really strong on vault and we had all the Beverly crowd/cheering section in the stands right next to where the vault was set up, so we really fed off the crowd cheering us on.”
Ginsburg said that their goals of “competing like we practice” and staying consistent are still true heading into the meet.
“We’d like to place at least as high as our seed,” added Ginsburg. “It all comes down to one meet and who hits now that we are all in the same gym with the same judges.”
Two other local squads will also take part in the North sectional: Danvers (140.15), which earned the No. 6 seed, and Masconomet (139.0625), which earned the 8th and final seed.
The teams with the top four scores at North Sectionals will advance to the state finals against the best squads from the South, Central and Western Mass. brackets on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at DCU Center in Worcester (6:30 p.m.).