Injuries hamper Summit High gymnasts | SummitDaily.com

Injuries hamper Summit High gymnasts

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FARMER’S KORNER – Shorthanded doesn’t quite explain the Tiger lineup Wednesday night at home. With five girls out of the varsity rotation – either sick or injured – Summit was left with only six gymnasts to compete.

The Tigers still put together a respectable night with a few JV gymnasts tossed into new events, but the third-place finish in a Jeffco League tri-meet left head coach Lauren Johnson eager to see what her actual team can do.

“I feel the same way since the season started that if we can just all come together for one meet or whatever it is, we’re going to blow people out of the water,” she said. “It’s just a matter of getting everyone healthy and back in the game and focused.”

The Tigers scored a 144.375 on the night, well behind Arvada West (162.65) and Bear Creek (172.775). Both schools are 5A programs, while Summit is 4A. And both fielded teams more than twice as large as that of the Tigers.

Senior Gabi Ketzenbarger led the way for Summit with sixth-place finishes on both beam and vault. She was the only Tiger to place in any category.

As the team captain, Ketzenbarger was happy with how her team performed, especially with so many key injuries.

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“It’s a downer when everyone’s hurt, but I think we did a good job keeping our spirits up today,” she said. “I think for what we have – the people that aren’t injured – everyone’s really improving and learning new skills.”

The Tigers started the night with an impressive showing on the vault with a team score of 40.05. Senior Haley Harvey and junior Rachel Lawlis both netted scores over 8 points, while Ketzenbarger added in Summit’s highest score of the meet with an 8.3.

Summit then moved on to the beam. Despite eight falls as a team, the Tigers strung together some solid performances. Freshman Tessa Gunnin, who competed in all four varsity events for the first time, scraped together a 7.7 with only one minor fall.

The uneven bars were a struggle on the night for Summit, but the Tigers made up some ground on floor.

Emily Johnson and Abby Akers both hit in the 6.9 range, and Lawlis had the team’s highest score with a 7.9.

Overall, the Tiger coach said her team did a solid job considering the circumstances.

“I have five girls out, right now, and most of them are varsity girls that normally put up high scores,” Johnson said. “We had some girls from JV compete tonight, and they stepped up and did really well.”

She was also really happy with Ketzenbarger’s performance. Johnson said the senior is a gymnast who “always delivers,” even when some scores don’t go her way.

“I thought she got robbed on beam and floor,” the coach said of the judging. “That’s another thing I think is great about her as a captain. She knows what she deserves (for scores), and when she doesn’t get it, she doesn’t let it affect her or let her attitude affect the team.”

The Tigers have a little bit of time to heal up before getting back into action. They host their annual U-BE-THE-JUDGE exhibition event at Summit High on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and travel to Columbine on Thursday.