Summit gymnasts impress in first home meet
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FARMER’S KORNER ” All season, the Tigers gymnastics team’s Achilles heel has been its beam routine. So it was a shock to Summit head coach Lauren Wright when her team told her that they wanted to kick off their first home meet of the season on that event.
“I had set up a totally different rotation for them,” she said. “I was surprised, because (your first event) can really set the tone for the whole meet.”
Well it was a good thing that Wright went with her players’ instincts, because Summit stuck its best beam routine of the season, on its way to a second-place finish in a quad meet with Chatfield, Pamona and Arvada West at the SHS gymnasium, Wednesday.
“I think it was a good thing (to start on beam),” senior Meigan Canfield said. “It was our home beam, and we know how to work it. We knew what we had to do and we killed it.”
The Tigers’ impressive showing on their toughest event helped them to a season-best score of 155.025.
“I think we did really well,” senior Chelsea Ryback said following the meet. ” … As the meet continued, we scored a lot better. It was great.”
Ryback was the first Tiger to hit the beam in front of a boisterous home crowd. And after completing a routine with no falls and a difficult dismount, she set the tone for her team with a solid score of 13.5.
Next for Summit was Sam Gardner, who overcame a tough fall that sent her tumbling to the mat to score a 13.6.
Karrine Bergman (14.6), Anne DeJulio (14.7) and Haley Harvey (14.9) followed Gardner with impressive scores, before Canfield put up the team’s top number on the beam with a 15.0.
“We just did a really good job on it, and we kept it going from there,” Canfield said.
Gardner led off for the Tigers in the uneven bars. She hit back-to-back cut-throughs ” a release move where she comes over the top of the high-bar and snatches back on with her hands between her legs ” and finished with a cast away and inward flip on the dismount.
“On beam, my nerves kind of got me,” Gardner said. “On bars, I used those nerves and had my most solid bar routine all season.”
After receiving a 15.2 for the routine, Ryback followed with a solid 14.6.
But one of the highlights to Summit’s bar routine was Harvey notching a team-high score of 16.3. She stuck a perfect landing after a difficult, flipping
The Tigers then moved to the floor routine, where they were able to do something they hadn’t been able to all fall: Their actual routines.
The Summit gym has a spring floor, which no other school has had for their meets.
“We have had to compete on dead mats all year,” Wright said. “They get so much more difficulty (points) through their tumbling on a spring floor. It gives them a chance to get out there and show what they’ve got. … It shows other teams that we are a threat.”
Wright’s team definitely took advantage, with Canfield and Jordan Smith finishing fifth and sixth overall, respectively.
Smith had what Wright considered to be her best routine of the season, scoring an 8.2.
“I felt like was looking at a whole new person,” Wright said of Smith. “She is always a very consistent performer, but everything she did was bigger and higher and sharper. She did not miss a step. She nailed it.”
The Tigers’ last event of the night ended up being their best one of the meet. On the vault, Summit had four top-six finishers. Canfield finished in sixth, Harvey fifth, and Smith and Rybak tied for third with an 8.7.
For the first time in competition, Rybak attempted a very difficult vault called a Tsukahara, which consists of a one and a half back flip. Unfortunately, the vault was voided because, because the judge said Rybak didn’t land feet-first. She landed a simpler vault on her second try.
“I didn’t particularly agree with (the call),” Wright said. “To actually do that vault in a meet and compete it was a big accomplishment.”
“I’ll get it next time,” Rybak said.
Overall, Summit finished behind only Arvada West, who scored an all-around total of 160.425.
Wright said that she couldn’t have been more pleased with her team’s performance.
“I was so proud of my kids today,” she said. “They all came out and had positive
attitudes, and it really shows through in their performances.”
Summit gymnastics is next in action when they travel to Columbine for a Jeffco League tri-meet Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 688-4634 or email@example.com.
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