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Silverthorne gymnasts ‘Storm’ to state

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

At practice last week, before his team headed to Thornton for the regional meet, head coach Ben Way mentioned to his gymnasts that the Silverthorne Storm had never had the entire team make it out of the region and into the state meet before.

“Well, they must have taken it as a challenge, because we qualified way more than ever to states.” Way said after the meet concluded Saturday.

In all, 25 of the team’s 27 girls qualified in at least one event, including nine girls who were crowned regional champions. Both of Silverthorne’s compulsory-level squads had every girl qualify, and 16 girls, overall, earned spots in the all-around competition.

“I would have to say the girls surprised me,” Way said. ” … A few of our girls had routines so much better than normal that we wondered who they were.”

The Storm started their dominant performance on Friday with the optional-level gymnasts.

Despite competing on a sore heel, Chantel Price nailed her vault routine to place first in the event.

Then Kaitlin Akers put together a beam routine that Way said he has “never seen her do.” The strong performance earned Akers second place in the event.

Meghan Sockett, Way said, also had a “good day,” as she finished third in the floor exercise and sixth in the all around. Her position in AA was just enough to earn her a spot in the state meet.

The Storm also had two girls place first on the beam, with Anne DeJulio and Kaylin Lilly both hitting “consistently solid, clean routines,” according to their coach. Both girls also ended up third in AA.

Kaitlynn Sockett then placed in three separate events, including an impressive second in AA.

Later in the day, the team’s optional 4s competed.

Both Tessa Gunnin and Jordan Smith combined for four fourth-place ribbons. Smith finished fourth on the vault, while Gunnin was fourth in beam, bars and AA.

Also at the same level, Emily Johnson earned a birth in the state meet with a second-place finish on both the vault and the floor.

In addition, Elle Pitts and Madison Hunt Snyfer will be at state in the vault and floor competitions.

Saturday morning, Silverthorne’s compulsory 4s “came on like gangbusters,” Way said.

After a rough start on the bars, the team refocused and competed strong on bars.

Sophia Romero qualified for state by finishing second on floor and vault and finishing third in AA.

“Sophia Romero had the meet of her young life, taking moves to the handstand, cleaner than ever, and (more) confident like I haven’t seen before,” Way said of Romero, who competed in the 7-year-old division.

Delani Bargell won the floor title in her age group and wound up fourth in AA, while Mia Ammon finished third in vault and sixth in AA.

Overall, the compulsory 4 squad finished strong in the AA. Sophie Immamura finish first, Abby Charneskie was third, Laurel Bonner was fifth, and Cassidy Bargell was sixth.

“All of these girls were quite solid and clean throughout the meet, with Abby winning vault and Sophie winning beam and floor,” Way said. “Victoria Hebert continues to show steady improvement and again had a solid meet winning floor and taking 3rd in AA.”

In the final competition Saturday afternoon, the Storm continued their success, this time, at the compulsory 5 level. It might have been their most dominating performance of the weekend, as four out of five of the girls won regional championships.

Molly Sharr won both the beam and the AA, and Kimberly Coffin won the floor exercise with a personal best 9.325.

“She hit the podium on every event, too,” Way said of Coffin.

Kayla Cushing and Jenessa Bjork traded first and second in both the vault and the floor, with Cushing winning floor and Bjork taking the top of the podium on vault. Cushing also won on bars and finished third in AA.

Also earning a spot at state was Olivia Patti, who finished fourth on beam.

The Storm now prepare for the state meet, where Way knows his gymnasts will have to keep up their levels of performance.

“State will be tougher, but we will enjoy this right now,” he said.


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