After registering an undefeated championship season in New Hampshire and winding up fourth overall at the New England Championships earlier this year, Pinkerton Academy gymnastics coach Chelsie Burland and her talented charges would like nothing more than a repeat that Granite State success and an even better finish at the regional event this winter.
The team has a group of battle-tested veterans back in the fold as they face the 2014-15 campaign – which they will start officially on Dec. 28 with a home meet against Prospect Mountain.
The returning starters include senior all-around standouts Brittany Capozzi (a tri-captain) and Isabel Silveira, junior Jackie Bogaczyk (vaulting, balance beam, floor exercise), and sophomores Julianna Corsetto (all-around), Kylie Muzerall (vault, beam, floor), and Julianna Iauburrino (beam and floor).
Other varsity returnees include juniors Emily Cambra (tri-captain), Emma Cameron (tri-captain), Sam Day, and Leah Pacunas, and sophomores Michelle George and Elizabeth Bilodeau.
The state champs also have a fine crew of promising newcomers that includes senior Tricia Taylor, juniors Jordan Mayhew and Lucy Morin, sophomores Meghan Cooper and Lauren McGee, and freshmen Eva Troutma, Kelsey Allen, Lexi Franquiz, Chloe Abreu, Jesse Shatford, and Alyssa McFadden.
Burland’s keys to a successful 2014-15 season include, “Getting back into shape. A lot of our gymnasts have been out of the gym since March. Time is critical, so we are trying to get our strength up and skills back. From there, key factors will be consistency, improving our execution, and, as always, staying healthy.”
Injuries have nagged at Pinkerton – even in title seasons – and the 2013-14 campaign and its aftermath were no different.
“Many of the girls suffered injuries during the post-season and are currently recovering,” said Burland. “Senior Brittany Capozzi underwent ankle surgery, while our other all-arounder Julianna is coming back from breaking three bones in her foot. We are rusty, but within the next couple weeks I expect us to be competition-ready.”
The team’s additions create a new and positive scenario for Burland, who is concerned with having her squad make up for some lost scoring from the title-winning crew of 2013-14.
“With 11 newcomers this year we add a lot of depth,” said Burland. “Our biggest hole from last season is finding a gymnast to match the scores of last year’s senior Kaylee Pacunas, who is now competing in gymnastics on the collegiate level. We have a strong and very talented junior who is a newcomer this year in Jordan Mayhew. We will look to Jordan to fill some of Kaylee’s spots.”