Sports

Off and running

Friday, December 20, 2013

By BEN LEVINE

Correspondent

Coach Tom Williamson runs the gymnastics programs at four local schools and has gotten to know some of the local gymnasts over his six years of coaching. Like any mentor, Williamson gets attached to his athletes. Including his relative longevity, he now has to prepare to see some of his athletes compete in their final season. In the four programs, Tom will be losing eight seniors who he has coached for over eight years.

“They started in classes and then went to the high school teams with me,” Williamson said, “(so) I am really looking forward to this season.”

Meanwhile, Marilyn Kasper inherits two gymnastics programs in Nashua North and South. Kasper has had previous coaching experience, including being an assistant for Nashua, but now has the task of evaluating new gymnasts. Luckily, she can rely on some of her senior captains.

“It is really great to see the captains taking charge and leading their teammates,” Kasper said, “I am really proud of their efforts so far.”

Some of her newest members include athletes who have never participated in the sport before.

“We have six freshmen (on the two teams),” she said, “Some haven’t done gymnastics, but they’ve made tremendous improvements in just a couple of weeks.”

While the familiarity with their respective teams may differ, the combined experience of the two coaches will surely mean success for the squads during the upcoming season.

TRACK

Hollis Brookline track is in a new era with Yolanda Flamino as head coach. The boys and girls both will get a boost from having members of their successful 2013 cross country team joining in. Emma Newton, Sarah Cramton and Meghan Philpot will be key contributors in long sprints and mid distance for the girls. The Cavalier boys will expect to be strong in sprints and hurdles with help from promising junior transfer, Bryce Bowden.

GYMNASTICS

COACH: Tom Williamson (6th Season)

RETURNING STARTERS: Melanie Murphy, sr.; Stephanie Burns, jr.; Sarah Taylor, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Caiti O’Connor, jr.; Meghan Gialluca, fr.; Katie Connors, fr.; Abby Fitzpatrick, fr.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “Improving our score, and being better than the 13th place we took last year,” Williamson said.

BOYS TRACK

COACH: Yolanda Flamino.

LAST SEASON: 14th.

KEY RETURNERS: Kyle Lorden, Oliver Fetter, Zachary Crooks, Christian Parenteau, sr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Bryce Bowden, jr.

COACH’S COMMENT: “I have team expectations and then individual expectations,” said Flamino. “It’s really just to come together as a cohesive group and push one another. On the boys side we have a good middle distance contingent.”

GIRLS TRACK

COACH: Yolanda Flamino.

LAST SEASON: Fifth.

KEY RETURNERS: Lauren Cole, Emma Newton, sr, Meghan Philpot, sr, Sarah Crampton, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMER: Grace Anneser, fr.

COACH’S COMMENT: “For the girls, it will be middle distance and distance,” Flamino said regarding her team’s strength. “They had such a strong cross country team that will definitely play over into our season.”

Correspondent Brett Ferrell also contributed to this report.

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