Tigers tamed in gymnastics opener at Arvada West | SummitDaily.com

Tigers tamed in gymnastics opener at Arvada West

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

It wasn’t exactly the start to the season head coach Lauren Johnson was hoping for. With every girl returning from last year, the Tiger gymnastics squad has the talent to challenge any team in the state.

Of course, if that talent can’t make it into the lineup due to injuries, there’s not much Summit can do about it.

With three key gymnasts saddled with soreness, the Tigers struggled to a team score of 143.05 in a tri-meet at Arvada West on Thursday. The score was a bit lower than that of last year’s first meet.

“Taking into account what we had to work with, we did pretty well,” Johnson said.

Senior captain Anne DeJulio injured her ankle at Wednesday night’s practice, and junior exchange student Aylin Tuna also had to miss the meet due to a last-minute injury. On top of those, senior Haley Harvey was nursing an injury that limited her to only two events in the meet.

So, the Tigers were left shorthanded, having only a full, six-gymnast varsity lineup on beam and bars. On both the floor and vault, they had to count all five scores from each gymnast, no matter how they did.

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Still, Summit had some solid performances.

Senior Jordan Smith, who’s battling back problems herself, had strong performances in all four events, and senior captain Gabi Ketzenbarger had, what Johnson called, a “very consistent night.”

“She was awesome,” Johnson said of Ketzenbarger. “She’s always our little shining star, someone we can always count on for a good score.”

The injuries also let some younger gymnasts join the fray. Freshman Hannah Hart, competing in her first varsity match on the beam, stuck a new skill she’d never previously hit before in competition.

Overall, Johnson said her team was disappointed by the result, but that the Tigers have to remember they have a long season ahead of them – and plenty of chances to make up for it.

“If you look at the sliver lining here, it is encouraging for the rest of the year,” the coach said. “If we can do what we did with it being the first meet of the year and without the lineup we’d hoped to have, we should really be able to pick it up (the rest of the season).”

The Tigers don’t have a whole lot of time before getting right back into action on Tuesday, when they travel to Lakewood for another Jeffco League tri-meet. The meet, which is against Pomona and Lakewood, is slated for a 6 p.m. start.