By Gianna Addario
---- — In early May, Peabody gymnast Maci Covino competed in the XCEL Bronze State Meet in Acton. The then 9-year-old Yellow Jacket gymnast placed first in the all-around (37.375), winning her division.
“Maci had an incredible year,” said XCEL head coach Lee Raucci-Merrill. “She won most of all of the meets in which she competed in. She is a huge influence with her team and was one of the key members on the Bronze team this year. Maci is always willing to try different things and most of all she is a true “team” player.”
Covino placed second on vault with a 9.15, first on bars (9.5), first on beam (9.5) and second on floor (9.225).
The Yellow Jackets Bronze XCEL team as a whole finished third out of 28 teams at the state meet. Yellow Jackets Gymnastics, which is based on of Middleton, has roughly 50 gymnasts on the XCEL team. Since the competition, Covino has moved up to the XCEL silver team. There is also another level of the program, the highest, which is gold.
According to Merrill, the XCEL program is a competitive program for gymnasts that do not want to have a full commitment to the Junior Olympic program. Massachusetts has the largest XCEL program in the country. There was over 1500 gymnasts that competed over four weekends in May.
Other local Yellow Jacket winners from the meet include Boxford’s Eva Barraclough (second all-around), Middleton’s Isabella Capillo (second all-around) and Prides Crossing’s Molly Bolland (first all-around).