Tiger gymnasts’ score high, energy low
FARMER’S KORNER – Judges are fickle.On a night when Summit High School head gymnastics coach Beth Flaherty and her team agreed that Summit’s performance lacked energy, the Tigers still recorded their highest team score of the year. Yet the team’s 164.325 points were not enough to overcome 5A Bear Creek’s impressive 176.025 total. Columbine rounded out the tri meet results, recording 156.0 points for third place.The Tigers’ beam performance remained solid Wednesday, as the varsity suffered only one fall and notched its best point total in the event this year. Juniors Hannah Bolt (8.725, third) and Lauren Biegler (8.65, fourth) placed for the Tigers on beam.
Flaherty, however, was visibly frustrated with Summit’s second-to-last home meet of the season.”I thought we really lacked energy and enthusiasm on floor tonight and I definitely didn’t feel like we came to compete today,” Flaherty said. “We just showed up, went through our routines and hoped for the best, and that’s not how it works.” This week is Homecoming for Summit, so distractions were to be expected. A team fundraiser Monday and a late-night pep rally last night were the most recent activities for Summit’s student-athletes. “They’ve been pulled in many directions this week, but the bottom line is they need to show up to compete every single meet, especially our home meets,” Flaherty said. “We lost a huge advantage tonight. This floor is our advantage and we did not use it.” The judges graded Summit’s work on floor among its best performances of the year, but on a night when the scores appeared generous, only Biegler finished in the top six. The junior posted an 8.8, good enough for sixth.
Flaherty said that some of her athletes are working on new skills and excited about improving, but the team as a whole is not progressing adequately. Co-captain Shauna Neely incorporated a new skill into her routine on floor (8.65, ninth), raising her degree of difficulty, but recognized that the Tigers lacked the necessary enthusiasm Wednesday.”I think a lot of us were pretty tired from last night,” Neely said. “It’s been a rough week; we have an activity after school every day.”Overall, however, the senior said the team is moving forward.”We’re doing well,” Neely said. “It gets progressively better each meet – whether the scores show it or not, I think our performances are getting better.”
On vault the Tigers’ sluggishness was most reflected, as they dipped below the 40-point mark for the first time this season. On bars, Biegler grabbed third with an 8.5 and senior Amelia Meier recorded an 8.2, good enough for fifth.At this point, Flaherty sees the team at a “crossroads,” with an important decision to make.”Going forward, the girls have to decide where they want to be,” Flaherty said. “Showing up and going through the motions isn’t going to be enough. We’re over halfway through our season and the progression that I was expecting to see, I’m not seeing. This team is so talented, and I’d be expecting them to work that talent a little bit more than they are.”Mike Morris can be reached at (970)-668-3998, ext. 223, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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