Brooke Bonwitt and Mackenzie Mackinaw represented PemberLake gymnastics at the state individual championships
KINGSTON – It’s been an amazing season for the Pembroke/Silver Lake gymnastics team. So amazing, in fact, that the 16 girls and two boys on the team are doing everything they can to stretch the winter sport as close to the spring as possible.
Senior Captain Brooke Bonwitt (beam) and sophomore Mackenzie Mackinaw (bars) proudly represented PemberLake Monday at the state individual gymnastics championships.
The entire band will get back together Saturday and travel to Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough to compete in MIAA State Team South Sectional Championship. Pembroke/Silver Lake is seeded 11th in the South region bracket.
“I just told them to go out there and have some fun,” Head Coach Tammy Sanchez said. “It’s a huge deal just to compete against the best teams in the state. Everyone was psyched to be invited to the competition.”
Franklin High was seeded first in the South region, followed by Groton-Dunstable, B-R/West Bridgewater, Framingham, Norton, Barnstable, Medway, Medfield, Attleboro, Oliver Ames, Pembroke/Silver Lake, and finally Natick High. The top teams coming out of Saturday advance to the state finals to face off against the best teams from the North section.
Sanchez is in her first season coaching the co-op squad, taking over for former coach Christy Schimmel, but she’s well-acquainted with the team from her work at the Mass Gymnastics Center in Pembroke, which is where the team trains and competes. She credited a “great senior group” with bringing a winning attitude to the team and setting a proper tone for the younger members on the program.
“We have some good balance on the roster with a group of seniors who have great experience having been around for the four years to go along with some very talented younger athletes,” said Sanchez.
PemberLake’s strength comes straight from the top from its five senior captains: Bonwitt, Laura Canniff, Riley Doyle, Ava Dorsey and Sam Raleigh.
Canniff has been a standout all year with accolades that include winning the all-around title at the recent Patriot League championship. “Lauren’s been a consistent and reliable performer all season and some of the upgrades she made to her floor routine helped her win the all-around at the league meet,” Sanchez said.
Bonwitt has developed “a killer beam routine,” Sanchez said. Dorsey was a key contributor in several events before a foot injury ended her season. Raleigh has done well with her uneven bars and floor routines, while Doyle is another consistent performer and a team leader who does “all of the little things” that help keep a team together and on the same page.
Mackinaw and Summer Krause, both sophomores, have also helped the team’s success. Krause has put up some impressive scores in the vault and the uneven bars.
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