Ogden and Saunders help lead Redmen Gymnastics team to a victory | Sports

TEWKSBURY – There’s an old sports cliché that describes certain athletes as “a gamer”. Well, that certainly is the case with Tewksbury Memorial High School senior Amanda Ogden.

Back on Monday, January 10th, Ogden dislocated her thumb and thought what the state lost one of its best gymnasts for the season. Instead she fought off the pain, delivered terrific performances with each of the four events, while being the top all-around performer of the day, to lead the TMHS Gymnastics team past Haverhill 127.3-124.85 in a Merrimack Valley Conference Meet held at Wilkey’s Gymnastics last Thursday night.

“What do they say – bleed blue? Well, Amanda Ogden bleeds, red, white and blue, whatever colors you consider to define Tewksbury Memorial High School, she bleeds it. She is Tewksbury Tough (for sure),” said head coach Jess Wilkey.

Ogden’s performances led the way for the win, as the team is now 2-2 on the season, but more importantly the one senior on the team showed tremendous guts, and leadership.

“Rise up and she did,” said Wilkey. “She wasn’t going to miss our first home meet – the home opener of the 2022-23 gymnastics season. We all thought this injury could end her season. Ice, elevation and positive prayer – her orthopedic cleared her on Thursday and said ‘if it is too painful, stop’.

So, Athletic Trainer Chris Mahanna taped up her thumb and hand and she brought it. All of it. Positive attitude, grit and determination. We would not have won if she did not compete. All I can say is that Amanda Ogden truly is about the team. She wanted to help the team get this win and we did because of her all-around performance.”

Ogden ended up with scores of 9.2 on the vault, 9.1 on the bars, 8.5 on the beam and 8.4 on the floor exercise to finish with a 35.7 all-around score.

The other all-around performer was freshman Kayla Saunders. She ended up with scores of 8.3 on the floor, 8.0 on the vault, 7.7 on the bars and 6.8 on the beam which combined for a 30.8 all-around score.

Eighth grader (not freshman as stated last week) Lila Areias also had a big night. She competed in three events earning scores of 8.3 on the floor, 8.1 on the vault and 7.5 on the bars.

“Rock star 8th grader Lila Areias is getting better each competition,” said the coach. “Her scores are increasing each meet. She is working extremely hard during practices to attain more difficult skills to increase her start value and overall score. It’s showing. Her hard work. She is a key player on her three events. A huge asset to our team.”

Also competing on three events was Alexis Devlin, who finished with a 7.9 on the vault, a 7.8 on the floor and a 6.5 on the beam. Three other gymnasts took part in two events each including Maddie Carroll with a 7.7 on the vault and 7.2 on the bars, Alyssa Flahive with a 6.2 on both the beam and floor, and Keira Gaffney with a 6.0 on the beam and a 4.8 on the bars.

Rounding out the scoring included Jaden Kasule with an 8.2 on the bars, Alex Rooney with a 7.7 on the vault, Julia Carlson with a 7.0 on the floor and Abigail McCarthy with a 6.5 on the beam.

“Juniors Alexis Devlin, Jaden Kasule, Julia Carlson were all solid. We can always count on them on their events. Freshmen Kayla Saunders and Maddie Carroll are rising to the occasion. A few mistakes, but still adding points for the team,” said Wilkey.

Tewksbury will be back in action on Friday, January 20th in a home tri-meet with Lowell and North Andover coming to town for a 7 pm start.

“We are excited for our meet against North Andover and Lowell. Everyone wants to add to our win column – and they will put the work in. No doubt,” said Wilkey.

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