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By Maddie Gerber
Hometown Weekly Intern
On Friday night, a patched-up Needham team, missing many integral gymnasts including captains Jackie Alford and Amanda Cohen, fell to Weymouth by a score of 123.3-128.2, giving the Rockets the second loss of their 1-2 season.
“The beginning of this season has been a little rocky from the standpoint of injuries,” Alford noted, but the Rockets still competed impressively despite the holes in their line up, with junior captain Hailey Queler and freshman Sammy Scampoli performing impressively across the board. However, Weymouth’s Maggie Lynch propelled the Wildcats to victory, winning the all-around and taking the highest score of the night, an 8.85 on the balance beam.
Despite the tough loss, Rockets Head Coach Abby Watt was still very proud of the team. “We were a little short on some people, so others had to step up to fill the gaps, even when they may not have felt ready,” noted Coach Watt. “But they all did a great job.”
One such individual was Rachel Talcoff, a freshman who stepped in for floor while recovering from a knee injury. “I was still not quite sure if I could do it,” Talcoff admitted about her decision to compete, “but my teammates were cheering me on and their enthusiasm helped me get through it … I’m so glad I was given the opportunity.” Talcoff ended up excelling in the event, scoring within the top four and boosting the Rockets’ overall score.
The support that Talcoff received from her teammates was just one example of the Rockets’ fantastic team spirit, which was demonstrated throughout the meet. The whole team cheered on each and every gymnast before they performed. “Supporting each other is all you can really do in the moment,” remarked Alford. “Even though it won’t change anyone’s physical ability, it really has an impact on our mental states before competing, which has a huge positive impact on all of us.”
As the Rocket gymnasts look towards the rest of the season, they plan on continuing to spread that positive energy to their teammates - and, hopefully, improving their skills and scores as a result.