Opener a springboard for Tiger gymnasts |

Opener a springboard for Tiger gymnasts

Summit Daily/Reid Williams Summit High Schoool cheerleaders Amber Primm and Siri Austill, judge Jill Hunsaker and assistant gymnastics coach Chris Weber watch as team co-captain Kelsey Todd rotates through a twisting vault Thursday at the high school.

FARMER’S KORNER – If the Summit High School gymnastics team’s opening meet Thursday night is any indication, it looks like the Tigers are in for quite a season. Summit beat Pomona 161.67-156.55 at home, and a number of Tiger gymnasts landed state-qualifying scores. Lauren Bigler was the top performer; she won three of the four individual events to lead Summit’s push to the top of the team standings.

Bigler threw down a near-flawless floor routine to score an impressive 8.825, and added winning scores of 8.5 on bars and 8.45 on beam. Kelsey Todd was second on beam with an 8.25, followed by senior Robin Lewarton (7.95). Kelly Scholl took third on floor with a solid season-opening routine which earned her an 8.55. As a team the Tigers improved eight points from last season’s opener, a monumental step up that was not lost on their coach, Beth Flaherty.”Last year our first meet was pretty ugly, and I was pretty upset,” said Flaherty. “A lot of kids come into the first competition thinking, ‘Well, it’s just the first meet, it doesn’t really matter for the first one.’ Just because it’s the first meet, doesn’t mean it’s not important. They’ve come a long way and I’m very impressed with them. We’re starting here and can go up instead of having a huge climb.”

Sophomore Emma Koenig didn’t appear to slip any from the heights she reached last season. She took third in bars with a state-qualifying score of 8.1, and her teammates were so moved by her stellar routine that they carried her off the mat.”Bars was awesome, because it was as good as it was at the end of last year at state,” Koenig said. “I just wanted to stay tight on my release and I did. As a team, we did so much better this year.”Summit’s Leilani Bruntz led the team in vault, taking third place with a score of 8.4. Freshman Nicole Luby shook off her nerves by her second vault to finish with a 7.6.

“I went for the second vault and I just got it, so I feel proud about that,” she said.The Tigers’ first meet confirmed the impression Flaherty has had of the team since practice started two weeks ago.”This is definitely the strongest team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” she said. “There are a few things we need to work on, and that’s good too. You don’t want to peak your first meet of the year. We had a strong first meet, but not a perfect first meet. We have a strong foundation that now we can just build on.”Their next test will come at Conifer on Tuesday in a quad against the Lobos, Golden and Standley Lake.

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