SHS gymnastics sets season high at home | SummitDaily.com
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SHS gymnastics sets season high at home

RICHARD CHITTICK
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Freshman Libby Helmer and the rest of the Tigers were on their game Saturday at home: Summit's 164.2 score was the best coach Beth Flaherty's group has managed all season.
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FARMER’S KORNER – The Summit High School gymnastics team eclipsed its season high once again on Saturday, scoring 164.2 points on its way to a second-place finish in the Summit Invitational. The score marks the first time the Tigers have broken 164 points in a competition this season, bumping their previous season best of 163.375 at the Lakewood Quad on Sept. 29. As an invitational, the meet did not count toward the Tigers’ standing in the Class 4A Jeffco League, but it will count in Summit’s bid to qualify the entire team for the state finals on Nov. 6 – the squad’s ultimate goal.The Tigers are currently in fifth place among Colorado 4A gymnastics programs, and as long as they finish in the top six, the entire team qualifies. The standings are determined by averaging the team’s three best overall scores this season.Lauren Biegler and Leilani Bruntz once again led the way for the Tigers on Saturday. Biegler finished fifth in the all-around competition (34.025) and Bruntz took sixth (33.95). The two also tied for Summit’s highest score of the day; each earned a 9.1 on her floor routine and tied for third place.

Many of the duo’s teammates stepped up on Saturday as well, setting personal bests. Amelia Meier was on the forefront of that trend, scoring a state-qualifying 8.275 on bars and an 8.25 on floor. “It’s hard to say who had the best day,” said head coach Beth Flaherty. “Our team has so much depth, when the first girl goes and has a good run, we just go from there.” Emma Koenig posted a state-qualifying all-around score of 32.3, and joins Biegler and Bruntz on the list of Tigers who will go to state to compete in the all-around regardless of whether the entire team qualifies. (Once a gymnast has scored state-qualifying numbers for any event twice, she is guaranteed a spot at state in that discipline regardless of whether her team qualifies.)Kelly Scholl posted a state-qualifying score of 8.55 in her floor routine, and Katie Lindbloom qualified in bars (8.05). Many of the Tigers agreed that competing in their home gymnasium made a difference on Saturday.

“We know the equipment and we had some fans here,” Meier said. “It definitely helps.” Added Biegler, “There’s a lot of good energy, really positive energy here.”In a unique move, Flaherty entered her junior varsity squad as a varsity team on Saturday, and the JV girls finished an impressive fourth out of the seven teams with a score of 152.55. Ponderosa, the only 5A school to attend, won the event with a score of 169.725.More importantly to Flaherty, though, Summit came out ahead of Liberty, which finished third at 163.05. Liberty recently moved ahead of Summit in the state 4A standings. Beating Liberty is a big confidence booster for the Tigers, who won’t know for certain whether the team has qualified until final standings are announced at the end of the season by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA).

Flaherty remains convinced that her team will qualify, and that if it does, the sky is the limit.”Once you get there, the slate is wiped clean,” she said. “I don’t care if we qualify first or sixth, just as long as we get there.” The Tigers’ season continues on Friday with the Jeffco Varsity League Meet in Conifer. Flaherty also said on Saturday that the Mountain League Open Meet scheduled for Oct. 30 has been canceled, but the coach hopes to reschedule a dual or a quad in its place.Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at rchittick@summitdaily.com.


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