Home advantage propels Tiger gymnasts
FARMER’S KORNER – Something in the air at the Summit High School gym is launching the gymnastics team to new heights. The girls hosted their first quad of the season Thursday, welcoming Bear Creek, Columbine and Conifer to town, and rode the home advantage to their second best team score of the season, 160.725. The score wasn’t enough to overcome the powerful 5A squad from Bear Creek, which won the quad with a team score of 165.825. But it marks only the second time this season the girls have broken 160 points. They also did so at their home opener (161.675) on Sept. 2. “We always do well on home meets,” said Leilani Bruntz, who posted her third state-qualifying score of the year in the all-around competition (32.55), good for third place. “We have more energy, we know our equipment and we get these adrenaline rushes.”
Bruntz was the first to take advantage, launching a half-full on the vault for a third-place 8.5. The move consisted of a half twist onto the vault then a full twist off. Melissa Griffith also had a good start, nailing her vault for a fourth-place 8.3.After a shaky evening on the beam, the girls moved to the uneven bars where Lauren Biegler led the way with a state-qualifying 8.45, good for third place. Joining her in the state-qualifying ranks were Emma Koenig (8.025) and Amelia Meier (8.0). Then Kelly Scholl pulled out all the stops with a floor routine that scored a state-qualifying 8.5, using a first pass in which she completed a full twist and a full flip.”Her first pass was the hardest pass anyone (from Summit) throws,” said head coach Beth Flaherty. “It’s a big skill for a 4A high schooler.” Finishing second to Bear Creek, which swept the top two spots in floor, bars, beam and the all-around, isn’t as bitter a pill for the Tigers to swallow as some might think, Flaherty said.
Summit has competed with 5A schools since joining the 4A Jeffco League three years ago when the school grew out of its 3A status. “Our first year in the league was really hard because there were skills the girls have never seen in meets,” Flaherty said. “But I keep emphasizing that we’re not competing against them.” The girls are aiming to take the entire team to state this year by finishing in the top six in the Jeffco League. Last year, they just missed taking the team, finishing seventh. More than half the team qualified as individuals, however. The Tigers’ season continues on Monday with a dual against Lakewood at Pomona. The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday.
On Tuesday, the girls will host their annual You-be-the-Judge fundraiser, in which special guests and the audience judge the girls as they demonstrate their skills. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at email@example.com.
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