Wilmington/Bedford Varsity Gymnastics Qualifies for States

February 26, 2024
The Wilmington/Bedford varsity gymnastics team placed 4th in the Sectionals this weekend qualifying the team for the State Championship on Saturday in Northborough. Image: /wbgymnastics/

“I’m so proud of how far this team has come and how much everyone has improved,” proclaimed Katie Desaulniers, co-captain of the Wilmington/Bedford varsity gymnastics team. “We have a very small team, everyone worked so hard to make this season successful.” And the 2023-2024 season is not over yet for the gymnasts.

The co-op team, made up of students from Bedford High School and Wilmington High School qualified for the MIAA state championships meet next weekend after finishing in fourth place in the MIAA North sectionals with a score of 139.775 on Saturday at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough. 

Regular Season

The Wilmington/Bedford team went 6-2 during the regular season, earning third place in the Middlesex League. On Feb. 7, in their final dual meet of the regular season, Wilmington/Bedford outscored Arlington, 141.3 to 137.2, which hit Wilmington/Bedford’s highest score of the season and set many personal and team records.

Sophomore Lexie Masters (Bedford) earned a personal record of 9.5 on vault. Wilmington senior co-captain Alli Ganley earned a personal record of 9.6 on bars – the highest score achieved in the three-year history of the Wilmington/Bedford program. Ganley also earned a personal record of 37.05 in the all-around and now holds the third-highest all-around score in the program. The team also honored Ganley and Desaulniers, the two seniors on the team.

Alli Ganley and Katie Desaulniers are senior co-captains of the 2023-2024 Wilmington/Bedford gymnastics team. Photo by Eternal Perspective Photography

Leagues meet – Feb. 12

Wilmington/Bedford placed third out of nine teams at the Middlesex League meet on Feb. 12 with a score of 138.8. Ganley placed first on vault with a 9.3 score, second on bars, sixth in floor exercise on floor, and second all-around. Masters placed third on bars and beam, and sixth on floor. Sophomore Maddie Plurad (Bedford) placed third on vault, fifth on beam, eighth on bars and floor, and fourth all-around. 

Desaulniers explained that being successful at Leagues “allowed us to qualify to sectionals against the 12 best teams in North Massachusetts. We’re seeded in seventh place” heading into Sectionals with a team average 139.3375. 

State Individuals – Feb. 19

Ganley, Masters, and Plurad qualified and competed in the State Individual competition in Tewksbury on Feb. 19. Ganley and Masters qualified for the all-around competition. Ganley placed ninth on both bars (9.0) and beam (9.225) and 10th all around. Masters placed ninth on vault with a 9.4 and 12th all-around. Plurad placed 12th on the beam with a 9.0. 

Sectionals – Feb. 24

The top four teams at Sectionals advance to the Massachusetts state competition. The athletes competing for the Wilmington/Bedford team came out of the competition bettering their average and earning a fourth place finish with a score of 139.775 behind back-to-back state champion Masconomet, Central Catholic, and Danvers/Lynnfield, and beating out Reading by 0.700 points. 

More than 350 athletes were competing among the 12 teams that qualified. Ganley earned a ninth-place all-around finish (10th in the bars with a 9.35). Masters earned a 9.4 on vault (11th) which boosted her to 13th all-around finish. 

State Championship – March 2

“We have such a hardworking and dedicated team. It’s definitely hard sometimes with a limited number of people, but we always make it work. Everyone puts in a 100-percent effort and does their best for the team,” said Desaulniers. The team will have another opportunity to compete this weekend.

Ganley, Masters, Plurad, Desaulniers and teammates are getting ready for the State Championships at 2 p.m. this Saturday, March 2 at Algonquin Regional. The top three teams from the state and the top ten individual gymnasts on each event, plus all-around from the State event advance to the New England Championship on March 9 at Algonquin Regional.

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