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Sports

February 24, 2013

North Andover wins first ever North gymnastics title

HUDSON — North Andover gymnastics coach Jenn Mangano thought she was setting a lofty goal.

The Scarlet Knights coach had her fingers crossed that her team would finish in the top four at the North Sectional team championships.

That would mean a berth Wednesday in the All-States at the DCU Center in Worcester (6 p.m. start).

They made it!

And then some!

The fifth-seeded Knights won the team title, which Mangano said was a first in school history.

“I’m completely blown away,” said Mangano, who has been head coach for seven years and was an assistant the seven years before that. “It’s the first time we’ve ever won and it’s a new school record. It’s the third time in my 14 years we’ve made All-States.”

The Knights rolled up 144.175 points to beat Beverly and Newton South. Andover took fourth with 140.9 points to also punch its ticket to All-States.

The Knights were seeded nearly two full points behind No. 1 Newton South.

“I never believed we’d be the winning team,” said Mangano. “Two points, that’s a huge difference. For the first time all year we nailed the beam. We scored huge on beam, the third event.

“Julia Montecalvo said, ‘I can nail it for you.’”

She did and the Knights did.

To win in gymnastics, you have to be tough. In the first event, Nicole Stevens rolled her ankle. Things were looking bleak.

“I said, ‘We can take you out,’” said Mangango. “She said, ‘I can do it.’ We wrapped her ankle.”

She was then immense, finishing second in the all-around while Montecalvo was seventh.

Methuen’s male vaulters continued to dominate the traditionally female sport. Zach Smith and Cam Cyr went 1-2 again.

@zzAgate:agateHed:North Sectional Team Championships

agateText:Results (12 teams)@zzAgate:agateText:: 1. North Andover 144.175, 2. Beverly, 3. Newton South, 4. Andover 140.9, 7. Methuen

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