When they headed into the New England High School Gymnastics Championships at Algonquin High School in Northboro, Mass., recently, the undefeated New Hampshire state champions from Pinkerton Academy were ranked eighth out of the 12 squads at that event.
The PA team showed everyone that they were more like a top-five team in the region than top-10.
The Lady Astros, who bagged their third New Hampshire championship in the last four years at Salem High School on Feb. 15, put forth a strong enough effort at the regional championship competition to place an impressive fourth overall.
The other Granite State teams competing Bishop Guertin of Nashua and Salem finished ninth and 11th respectively.
“We improved our team score by almost six points from the state meet, scoring a 144.125,” said proud coach Chelsie Burland.
Pinkerton junior standout Brittany Capozzi was a star performer for the Lady Astros, putting together a historic day for herself. She placed a superb second in the all-around by tallying a career-best score of 37.675. The academy stalwart also snared second place on the uneven bars with a career high of 9.6, and fourth in the floor exercise with yet another career-high of 9.425.
PA senior Kaylee Pacunas ended her stellar high school career by placing 17th in the all-around with a season-high and career-best score of 36.4. The talented 12th grader also placed seventh on vault with a record-breaking score of 9.6.
“She will advance on to high school nationals in Fort Myers, Fla., where she will represent New Hampshire,” said Burland.
The Astros also received a noteworthy effort on the uneven bars from Jackie Bogaczyk, who excelled on vault, balance beam, and floor all season, but had not performed on the bars until the New Englands.
“A teammate was taken out of the lineup within the two-minute touch period for competition due to an injury, and Jackie pulled her grips out of her bag for the first time all season, offering to compete for her team,” said Burland. “With no warm-up, Jackie stepped into the lineup, performing an outstanding bar routine after not competing in the event for a full year. She did it for her team, and served as a true example of what a teammate is. Her team rose from their seats along with the Pinkerton parents, giving her a huge round of applause after she stepped in for her team under the circumstances.”
And the PA stalwart’s performance had some far-reaching effects on her team’s overall finish as well.
“Her courage and determination set the tone for the team going into the last event, balance beam, where the Astros nailed their routines, including Bogaczyk herself, which secured the team a fourth place finish,” said the coach.