Andover rules North
HUDSON — Third-seeded Andover flexed its muscles to capture the North Sectional Championship yesterday.
The unbeaten Golden Warriors posted a 143.55 score, a season-best by 1.8 points. Coach Kristen Vadala said it was just off the school record of 143.8. They had to be on top of their game to hold off Beverly (141.575).
“We totally had it in us,” said Vadala, the sixth-year Golden Warrior coach. “I think we have even more in us.”
They hope to show it at the team state meet Saturday at Shrewsbury at 4 p.m.
It was a case of Andover finally kicking the door down to earn its first North title since winning back to back crowns in 2000 and 2001. The Golden Warriors were the runner-up five times since (‘11, ‘09, ‘05, ‘04, ‘02).
Andover got off to a terrific start.
“We started on beam, the hardest event and we absolutely nailed it,” said Vadala. “For the first time all year, every kid in the lineup, 1-6, stuck it.”
Dominique Cadet got the ball rolling with nary a wobble. Then Natalie Wagner, who had been out two weeks with an ankle injury, brought her A game.
Emily Lowenstein wowed the judges with a back tuck, back tuck for her highest score of the year.
Jenny Coneeny gritted her teeth through some intense pain and came through like a champion as did Courtney Carver (9.5) and Jessie Livingston (9.4).
Next up was the floor and that was highlighted by Rachel Mandelbaum’s impressive routine despite just coming off the injured list.
On vault, Lowenstein and Carver led the way.
Tamra Rutfield needed to perform on bars as Cadet had hurt herself earlier. Rutfield delivered one of her highest scores of the year.
METHUEN'S COED 1-2 PUNCH
Methuen tied for ninth behind Victoria Daiglej (13th all-around, fifth floor) and Zach Smith (tied for third on vault), a boy competing on the team. Central Catholic placed sixth led by Giana Contrada, who took 14th in the all-around.
Team scores (12 teams):
1. Andover 143.55.... first title since won 2000 and 2001, had finished second five times; 2. Beverly 141.575, 3. Chelmsford 139.125, 4. Westford 138.425, 5. Danvers 137.6, 6. Central Catholic 135.4, 7. Newton South 134.75, 8. Lowell 134.075, 9.tie Methuen and Masconomet 133.725, 11. Billerica 131.575, 12. Acton-Boxboro 131.0
Vault: 3tie. Zach Smith (Meth.); Beam: 1. Courtney Carver (And) 9.5, 2 Jessie Livingston (And) 9.4, 3. Emily Lowenstein (And) 9.325; Floor: 4. Carver (And) 9.2, 5. Victoria Daigle (Meth) 9.125; Bars: 3tie. Carver (And), Livingston (And) 8.95; All-around: 1. Eleanor Almeida (Chelms) 37.1, 2. Carver (And) 36.775, 4. Livingston (And) 36.6, 13. Daigle (Meth) 34.5, 14. Giana Contrada (CC) 34.45