Summit gymnasts showcase depth, win home invite
FARMER’S KORNER – In the first opportunity for the Summit High School gymnastics squad to showcase its depth this season, the team did just that.The Tigers took advantage of their host status and entered two teams in their home invitational, taking first with a 164.125 from the “Gold” squad and third with a 151.525 from the “Green” team.”For both our teams to finish in the top three says a lot about our program,” said head coach Beth Flaherty. “I considered all the girls varsity competitors today, and obviously the scores showed that they were competitive.”The 164.125 mark from the varsity squad was just .05 points short of the team’s best showing this season, and was more than eight points higher than runner-up Buena Vista.
“I felt like we had a strong day,” Flaherty said. “In the sport of gymnastics, though, the ultimate pinnacle is to have strong performances and scores that reflect those performances. I felt like we represented Summit well, but some of our scores didn’t reflect the level of routine that I though it was.”Flaherty has plenty to worry about, from team scores and qualifying standards to judging inconsistencies, but Lauren Biegler did her part to ease her coach’s mind Saturday. The standout junior returned from a hip injury to compete in all four events and win the all-around with a 33.825 score. The hip is still an issue, but Biegler doesn’t anticipate it becoming a problem.”It’s just sore and tight now,” she said. “I felt good during (the meet), and then after it kind of hurt. Meets are fine because of adrenaline – you don’t feel it.” Overall, Biegler was very pleased with the Tigers’ performance at home.
“We had a really good day today,” she said. “Floor was amazing, everyone did so well. Home advantage is big.” Biegler scored a 8.875 on floor to finish second, while seniors Shauna Neely (personal-best 8.8, third) and Amelia Meier (8.55, fifth) and freshman Hannah Harris (8.475, sixth) also made the podium in the event. The Tigers’ 42.975 score on floor was their best of the year and a full two points higher than any other team’s total Saturday.”They love performing for the crowd, they love the spring floor, it’s just a fun event to do at home,” Flaherty said.
The Tigers did not suffer a relapse on the balance beam, which they aced last week; the varsity recorded only one fall in six routines. Freshman Leah Canfield and Biegler each scored 8.0 to tie for eighth, while junior Kelly Scholl and Neely each notched 8.3 scores to tie for third.On vault, junior Emma Koenig recorded her third score of 8.4 or better this year to tie for fourth with Biegler. Canfield finished sixth with an 8.25.Biegler (8.55, first), Koenig (8.35, second) and Meier (8.125, fourth) placed for the Summit team on bars.The chief concern for Flaherty at this point is qualifying the team as a whole to state. State berths are decided by averaging each school’s top three overall scores; the top six 4A teams qualify.”I feel like this team if definitely one of the strongest teams we’ve had. Then again, a lot of the strength comes from the depth, and the depth doesn’t always bring you scores,” the coach said.
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