Fab Freshmen

David Willis, Andover Townsman, Mass.
·4 min read

Feb. 18—The Massachusetts high school gymnastics world better beware — Andover's Gabby Bresnick and Molly Foster still have three seasons to go in their Golden Warrior careers.

Just freshmen, Foster and Bresnick have spent this winter establishing themselves as two of the top all-around gymnasts in the Merrimack Valley Conference, and the entire state.

"As a freshman, coming into high school, I wasn't sure what to expect," said Foster. "I was just hoping to be part of the team. Having the opportunity to compete in the all-around, and be successful, has definitely exceeded my expectations."

The dynamic young duo are major reasons Andover is 5-1 in this coronavirus-shortened season, heading into the MVC Championship.

"I'm definitely really enjoying that we actually get to have a competitive season, even with all the COVID protocols," said Bresnick. "I'm really proud of the success that I've had this year as a freshman, and the success the team has had. I'm proud my coaches chose me to compete in the all-around spot."

Through six regular season meets, Bresnick has won the all-around — a combination of the scores for every event — twice and finished second two more times. Foster has won the all-around once and finished in the top-3 three other times.

"Gabby and Molly have brought so much confidence and fun to the team," said first-year Andover head coach Jimmy Tomacchio. "The two have anchored every meet of the season so far, and are delivering with high scores and meet wins."

Excelling together is nothing new for the Bresnick and Foster, who have been motivating each other since childhood.

"Gabby and I have known each other since we were 5-years-old," said Foster. "We did 'Hotshots' (a pre-gymnastics team) together when we were very young. Gabby and I also go to the same club for gymnastics (Reading Gymnastics Academy) and are the same level!"

That means the pair are constantly making each other better.

"Having Molly as a teammate definitely pushes me to do better," said Bresnick. "There's definitely some friendly competition when it comes to club gymnastics because it's more of an individual sport, but we're always happy for the other person no matter the results of the meet. When it comes to high school gymnastics, though, it's about the team."

The duo have excelled in nearly every event this winter. Bresnick's event victories included multiple wins in the floor exercise (3), vault (2) and beam (2). Foster's event victories have included wins in the beam and bars.

Both are regularly in the top-3 in every event, but both list the floor exercise as their favorite.

"My favorite event is floor because I've always loved choreographing routines and performing them," said Bresnick. "I love creating routines that suit my personality and making it fun for everybody to watch."

Added Foster: "The floor is different than all the other events. It is not just about the skills, it is about dancing and having fun. For me to be successful in the all-around, I try to live in the moment and not get caught up or stressed out about the upcoming events or previous events."

While their success is clear on the score sheets, their coaches have been just as impressed by their work away from the competition.

"It's not often you get a pair of top level gymnasts who care so much about how the rest of the team does," said assistant coach Rachel (Mattison) Tomacchio, herself a former Andover High star. "You certainly never get gymnast that fit these qualities as new incoming freshmen, but that's exactly what we got this season with Molly and Gabby.

"Its true, talent tends to come with confidence, but you'd never guess how skilled these girls are by how caring and team oriented they instantly became. After our first and only loss of the season, they asked me right after where they could improve and what was needed of them to help win our rematch meet. That's dedication."

What does each consider their strengths as gymnasts?

"My strengths as a gymnast is having a lot of power and confidence in my skills especially with floor and vault," said Bresnick. "I do really well under pressure and love to perform."

Added Foster: "One of my strengths as a gymnast is when I fall or make a mistake, I put it behind me easily. I try not to carry it on to the rest of my routine or to other events."

Now, the two want to end their freshman seasons with a bang.

"The goal I have for the rest of the season is for my team to win the upcoming MVC tournament!" said Foster.