WA gymnastics takes the DCL


Jeffrey Bunyon

WA gymnastics team pose for a picture as they place second at the DCL meet.

Rohun Voruganti, Sports Editor

This past season, Westford Academy’s gymnastics team took the DCL (Dual County League) Champion title on February 22nd, finishing with an overall record of 5-1. After coming in second in the DCL tournament, WA still retained the title because the championships are determined by regular season record. WA took down Cambridge and Acton-Boxborough twice and split meets with Newton South.

Senior captains Mina Kiefer, Hannah Keefe, and Ellie Cioffi led the way on and off the beam, while coach Steph Coburn trains the team at All-Star Gymnasium. Having a dedicated coach kept the team driven and pushed them to reach their full potential.

“Steph would stay up until 4 a.m. the night before meets to make sure everything was in line. She has to fight for everything the team has and always does what’s best for the team,” Cioffi said.

Coburn has been coaching at the school for some time now and also helps coach club at All-Star.

Gymnastics can get very busy for some athletes. Most members of the team also compete on their club teams every day along with practicing twice a week with the school.

“We have put in lots of work this year, as we practice every Tuesday and Thursday. We have put ourselves out there and tried new skills that were scary to some, but we did it all while supporting each other and staying a connected team,” Kiefer said.

Winning the DCL regular season title in back-to-back years is something not many teams have done. To win a meet, judges take the top six performances by a team from each event, bars, beam, floor, and vault.

After losing a few key seniors WA needed gymnasts to step up. Through practice, WA was able to become the best team in the DCL.

“Seeing where the team started at the beginning of this year, to where we are now is crazy,” Cioffi said.

COVID-19 and the weather are restrictions indoor winter sports faced this year. Games often had to be rescheduled, making it difficult for athletes to juggle responsibilities.

“We had a few cancellations for COVID or weather reasons, which were very hard to make up. We ended the season with three or four meets a week which was hard to balance with school, homework, and both high school and club practice,” Cioffi said.

Even with the stress piling on, WA performed well at the DCL meet, as they placed second. Sophomore Maggie Murphy, a large force on the team, could not attend the meet because of interferences with a club meet. Even so, the girls placed second with big performances from Cioffi and Kiefer.

“I think the team did well in the DCL meet even though it was not our full lineup,” Keefe said.

Seniors Kiefer and Cioffi will compete in Florida for Senior Nationals on May 20th.