Short-handed gymnasts top Columbine |

Short-handed gymnasts top Columbine

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

FARMER’S KORNER – Even with a heavily depleted roster, the Summit High gymnastics team had an impressive showing in a home tri-meet Thursday night.

With a team score of 147.7, Summit topped 5A Columbine by nearly 10 points. And even though Chatfield, also a 5A school, won the meet, the Tigers showed that what they lack in numbers, they make up for in resiliency.

“Even with the walking wounded lineup we have, we’re still getting better,” SHS head coach Lauren Johnson said.

As has been the case for much of the season, the Tigers competed with barely enough gymnasts to put together a lineup. They used five girls on vault (the minimum to earn a team score) and six on the other three events.

Still, Summit had some solid finishes.

Rachel Lawlis was flawless on beam, putting together the lone Tiger routine that didn’t include a fall.

Abby Akers, who’s been nursing an wrist injury the past four weeks stepped up for the Tigers with a strong floor routine, despite having little practice in that event.

“It’s a hard thing to ask her to do, but she’s come through for us,” Johnson said.

Akers had a 7.1 in the event.

Aylin Tuna battled a bad ankle and still competed in all four events, and senior Jordan Smith returned to the lineup after being out weeks with an injury of her own.

The top performance of the night, though, came from freshman Tessa Gunnin. Although small in stature, the rookie has come up huge for the Tigers this season, becoming the team’s steady, consistent force while the rest of the team has struggled to stay healthy.

In the meet, she put together a beam routine that earned her state-qualifying marks. She also had a strong showing on floor.

“She’s just on-point all the time,” Johnson said of the fabulous frosh. “I could not ask for more from her, especially being a freshman.”

The Tigers hit the mats again on Saturday at the Evergreen Invite, before traveling to Lakewood for a meet on Tuesday.

With the season winding down, Johnson is looking for her team to finish strong – or at least finish with healthy gymnasts in the lineup.

“We’re just focusing on trying to keep everyone healthy and keeping a full roster,” she said, adding that individual state cuts are the main goal. “This has been a difficult year.”

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