By Gianna Addario
---- — PEABODY— The Beverly gymnastics team has begun its season with four straight victories, amassing 24 consecutive regular season wins dating back to January 2010.
Last night the Panthers got it done once again, defeating Peabody 131.05-103 on the road.
“It’s really exciting for the girls and we hope to keep the streak alive,” said Beverly head coach Lauryn Ginsburg. “We want to stay undefeated this season and it’s going to come down to our last couple of meets against Masconomet and Danvers, as far as competition goes.
“We lost six strong seniors from last year’s team, but at the same time we gained six freshmen and we have some strong all-around performers this season. We end up scoring about the same, team wise, as we did in previous years. Actually, we’re starting out stronger in our first three meets this season than we did last year.”
Sophomore Heather Gomes has been a huge part of the team’s success as she’s won the all-around for Beverly in the opening three meets. Gomes placed first on the uneven bars (8.95) last night and posted the meet’s highest score with a 9.2 on beam.
For the first meet all season, Gomes and senior captain Adrianna Beatrice didn’t compete in the all-around as injuries and the flu have caught up with the Panthers.
“It was a tough week for us, we have a lot of girls injured, sick and plus they had midterms in school,” explained Ginsburg. “So we thought we’d plug in some different girls in the lineup to save the girls that have injuries.”
Beatrice placed first on vault with a 9.0, while fellow senior captain Loralee Smith came in first on the floor exercise with a 7.95. Hannah Rennie was second on bars (8.3), second on vault (8.3) and posted a 8.2 on the balance beam.
For the Tanners (0-4), Samantha Kinnaly won the all-around with a score of 31.5 and placed first in all four events for Peabody.
“She’s probably our top girl,” said head coach Russ Mentzer. “Sam helps us out in practice a lot and puts together the floor routines for the girls.
“We have more of a beginner team, but the girls work very hard everyday in practice. We only have 13 girls on the team and four of them are injured. There are girls doing events that they’ve never done before, so there’s a lot of transition going on right now.”
Beverly has another meet on Saturday against Marblehead, before next week’s showdown against Danvers on the 26th. The Panthers need four strong regular season scores to qualify for sectionals and Ginsburg wants to have enough to choose from.
“We basically have five meets to get the scores we need,” added Ginsburg. “We’re trying to keep the score above 140 for the rest of the season”