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Storm girls gymnasts fight injuries with solid showing

Daily News Staff Report

Competing in South Denver at the Goodson Recreation Center on Saturday, the Silverthorne Storm girls gymnastics team continued its steady improvement with a bevy of top performances – a showing highlighted by Tessa Gunnin’s first place in the coveted compulsory level 4 all-around competition and Laura Reichardt’s pushing through some pain in her knee to lead the way in the optional meet.(Compulsory division gymnasts perform routines designed by others, while optional competitors – typically the older, more experienced girls – perform routines they designed themselves.)After enduring so much pain warming up that she couldn’t even try her lot on the floor or vault, Reichardt still managed a solid beam routine to start. Then, according to Storm head coach Ben Way, “She hit her best bar routine ever.” Reichardt nailed her dismount to punctuate the showing on bars, and, showing her toughness and willingness to compete, performed a floor routine to get her into the all-around competition. She scored 7.3 thanks to some strong tumbling, and followed it up with a pair of handsprings on vault, just missing the regional-qualifying score in the latter event. Reichardt’s sister, Sarah, had what Way called “the floor routine of her life” to finish with a 7.9 and place second in her division.”They are both starting to come on strong,” said the proud coach. Among other optional competitors, Chelsea Rybak – back from a broken elbow she suffered last spring – performed admirably in her first meet of the year. She qualified for regionals in beam (where she placed fifth) and vault (fourth). “It’s great to have her back in the gym,” said Way. “She has such a ‘can do’ attitude.” According to Way, both Kelli McDonald and Brianna Barto, two other optional girls, are knocking on the door of regional scores. “Both are within tenths on a few events,” he said. “If they come in and work hard for the next couple of weeks they should have no problem making it in to the regional meet.” Adding to the team’s solid overall showing in the design-your-own-routine competition, Chelsee Farrell placed third on vault and fifth on floor.Although Way said his compulsory level 5 group had a “tough meet” (injuries beset the group as a whole, it seemed, said Way) Kathleen Moore and Jordan Smith found a way to compete in all four events. Moore’s top showings came on beam and the bars; she qualified for regionals in both events.Smith brushed off a mishap in her beam warmups to post a solid effort, though Abby Akers wasn’t as lucky. She tweaked her ankle in warmups and had to sit out the rest of the meet. On a similar note, Meghan Kane, recovering from an ankle sprain, aggravated it again in warmups and competed in pain for the duration. Bronwyn Walls also injured herself on the beam, though she still managed to qualify for regionals on beam and on bars. “Looks like we will be pulling out the tape more next week,” said Way.There were no major falls in the compulsory level 4 competition, which featured Tessa Gunnin placing first in four out of five events, in spite of missing a couple of moves she usually hits. Her consistency secured a victory in the all-around, which combines the scores of the four events. Anne DeJulio furthered her improvement, scoring a 31.2 in the all-around, and Megan Heil performed solidly as well, hitting the podium four times. Erica Getz had the best all-around score of her young career, and placed second on vault with an impressive 8.2. Brianna Rouillard used a nice vault to score 8.0 and place fifth. “For a team full of mostly first-time competitors, this group really shines out their on the floor,” said Way.The Storm’s next meet will be held at the Foothills Rec Center July 10.


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