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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA Gymnastics Team walkover competition after undefeated season

Noah Brown
WA gymnastics team gathers for team picture being champions of regular season.

For gymnasts chalking their hands, approaching the vault, and running gracefully to the springs is a joy like no other. As they jump and their hands hit the board, they only dream of two things: a flawless landing and a perfect score.

This dream has been the reality for WA Gymnastics, as they have won all six of their meets during this 2023-2024 season. Coach Stephanie Coburn and senior captain Leah Spinney expressed that dedication and a strong bond between teammates is what made this feat possible.

“Going into the season, we did not think we were gonna be as successful since we had lost so many key gymnasts last year,” Spinney said. “But the new gymnasts have stepped up and contributed to the undefeated season. Not only have we had amazing scores, but we created a great team environment.”

Even with the complication of having to pull eighth grade gymnasts due to a lack of athletes, the gymnasts have overcome the struggle to an undefeated season, and have formed a closer bond than ever.

“We’ve had a lot of freshmen and even one eighth grader this year, they’ve all worked really well together,” Coburn said. “They all adapted really well, and once that team setting came into play, they really got [comfortable] in there. They really got into their groove a lot smoother.”

According to Coburn, senior captains Maggie Murphy and Spinney are all-around gymnasts and top-scorers contributing to the outcome of every meet. Furthermore, they have qualified for the state all-around individual competitions on February 19th. While Murphy and Spinney are the two most consistent top-scorers, they aren’t the only ones contributing.

“This year, due to our small team size, everyone had to contribute in some way to the overall team score allowing everyone to have a crucial role in our undefeated season,” senior captain Karina Wills said.

While this year they have had trouble with participants on the team, the wins have been consistent. Each of the past four years that they have taken part in WA Gymnastics, they have won the DCL championship as either Co-Champions or Champions for that season.

Although the gymnasts are the ones producing scores on the board every meet, Coburn’s technique and ways of coaching have always helped to bring them to the championships.

“My philosophy is to make sure they’re having a good time and enjoying themselves […] because if you’re not enjoying [the sport] you’re miserable,” Coburn said. “Even if they fall on beam or any events, I always make sure they have a good time. I believe that [adds onto] the stress of an athlete […] having high-levels of stress usually causes more mistakes instead of going in confident.”

Coburn and the captains all believe that the meet against Acton-Boxborough on January 24th was where they showed the most teamwork and displayed Coburns coaching philosophy with a final score of 140.8-140.05 beating AB by .075.

“AB were our biggest competitors this year, and we went into this meet unsure of the outcome but everyone put in the work and had a great meet,” Spinney said.”Earning our highest score of the season and beating a team we did not think was going to be possible. This meet really allowed us as a team to see what we are truly capable of.”

The practices in preparation for Acton-Boxborough, and any meet in general, are a chance for the gymnasts’ to work on improvements in their specified events. Coburn records their previous performances at past meets so they can reflect and improve their skills individually, which leads to the growth of the team as a whole.

As the senior captains are moving on from their high school career in the WA Gymnastics program, they want to leave behind advice for future captains to ensure success for all future generations of the team.

“I think the key is working hard and supporting each other, and it’s okay to make mistakes, but you learn from them,” Spinney said. “And as a captain, you have a role as a leader of the team and people look up to you, but it’s about having fun and showing people what gymnastics is all about.”

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About the Contributors
Sophia Williams
Sophia Williams, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Sophia Williams and I’m a sophomore at WA. This is my first year on the Ghostwriter as a staff writer and couldn't be more excited! I love to play lacrosse, field hockey and sail in my free time. I've loved skiing as a little kid and I'm co-president of ski club in WA. I can't wait to learn all about journalism and look forward to a great year!
Noah Brown
Noah Brown, Social Media & Graphic Design Editor
Hello! My name is Noah Brown and I am a senior as well as one of the two current Social Media & Graphic Design Editor for the Ghostwriter. I love to ski, bike, listen to music, and work with the peers around me. This is my second year with the Ghostwriter but I am very excited to be a part of this team of wonderful people!

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