Norwood Gymnastics

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
March, 2020
Article Body: 

Participating in the Tri Valley League (TVL), the Norwood gymnastic team has only three competitors: Norton, MHM (Medway-Holliston-Millis) and MADS (Medfield- Ashland –Dover Sherborn). In addition to their three TVL opponents, the Mustangs have added Walpole and Brookline to their schedule from their Bay State League days giving them nine matches on the season.
Norwood currently finds themselves with a 4-2 and pretty much done with the squad adding to their routines. They are just looking to stay healthy and perfect what they have already incorporated, keeping their routines as clean as possible so that the girls can advance into the post-season.
“I am not sure that we will make it into the sectionals as a team as there are so many good teams out there,” Norwood Gymnastics Coach Karen Broderick said. “Our overall goal is to have as many individuals qualify for the State Tournament as we can.”
Although the Mustang coach believes she has a relatively small squad this winter with only 13 gymnasts, the girls have given all they have. Included in that number are a lot of up and coming freshman who have not gotten a lot of floor time but do have the potential to help the team in the future.
Leading the team have been four all-around gymnasts in juniors Jillian Olbrys and Elizabeth Broderick, as well as sophomores Marion Pastore and Shayla Wynne. Although having four all-arounds, Broderick finds herself in a predicament in only being able to use two of those athletes each meet with the remaining two girls taking part in three events. Olbrys and Pastore participate in other sports for Norwood outside of gymnastics, while Broderick and Whynne are year-round gymnasts.
“Our strategy is to get as many points as we can, so we have used the girls in their top events and fill in around them where needed,” the Norwood Coach said.
During the early part of the season Broderick, the athlete, was injured leaving Olbrys and Pastore to hold it down in the all-around while Whynne was a key factor for the squad in picking up as many points as she could to help the team.
“When Elizabeth came back, we went to a three-person rotation for the all-around, “Broderick said. “We have a lot of meets so it was whoever was feeling it that particular day. It’s nice to have that type of depth.”
According to the Mustang Coach, you never know what you’re going to get with Olbrys in terms of her events.
“Her best event, it’s tricky, as she surprises us each meet with which event is going to be her best on that particular day,” the coach said. “We’re hoping that she will eventually put it all together and have top performances in all four events during one meet.”
OIbrys usually goes out and does what is needed of her in all four events to score well enough for the team to win. Overall, the floor exercise is probably her best event where she has come a long way, especially with her confidence level.
Pastore has upgraded her vault routine a level by going from a tuck position to a pike position where she has gained 2/10’s of a point to her score with the difficulty. Prior to the change, the sophomore already was at a high level of difficulty on the vault. The sophomore captured the vault at the Tri Valley League Championship Meet.
“It was a nice surprise when she came into the year with this upgrade,” Broderick said. “We didn’t expect it from her, but the new routine has pushed her to one of the highest difficulties you can do.”
Broderick has solid routines in all her events for the all-around and has the highest start value per event on the team. She is also a level 10 gymnast with USA Gymnastics. Prior to the season, the junior had a stress fracture in her foot and was forced to rest the first portion of the campaign. Since her return, she has been slowly interjected back into the events. According to the coach, she is having her do just what is needed to succeed, nothing excessive as they will need to keep her healthy for later in the year. Broderick took third place in the all arounds at the TVL Meet.
Rounding out the four all-around is Wynne, who also comes in with four solid routines and is very flexible in which events she takes part in on any particular night.
“She is an experienced gymnast that gives us the flexibility that we need to compete on a high level,” Broderick said. “Sometimes I don’t even tell her which three events she’ll be participating in until he day of the meet. She has a lot of potential and as only a sophomore, two more seasons to improve upon that potential.”
Wynne’s next step in her progression would be to add more difficulty to her events.
The Mustangs will be working hard to keep winning as the season winds down in hopes of advancing into the Sectionals as a team, but if that dream doesn’t come true, at least they have the hopes of their individual gymnasts moving on to the State Tournament.