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Tigers gymnastics ready for big year

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Eric Drummond
ALL |

Last season, the Summit High School gymnastics team had an impressive seventh-place finish in the state tournament.

This year, the Tigers could do even better.

“Making it to state is always the goal,” first-year head coach Lauren Wright said. “But this year, we can definitely have a very good season.”

The Tigers will start their season Thursday, as they compete in a Jeffco League tri-team meet at Standley Lake.

The leadership and athletic ability of the Tigers’ four senior captains is a major reason that Wright feels that the team will be improved over last year.

“They are definitely our four strongest girls,” Wright said of her captains.

Two of those captains, Sam Gardner and Karinne Bergman, will compete in all four events in every meet, giving the Tigers a strong presence in the all-around.

“Both of them are so well-rounded,” Wright said. “They are great to work with, because they are constantly looking for something new to add to their routines.”

After missing most of last season with a fractured spine, fellow captain Chelsea Rybak, is currently working on a vault routine that one wouldn’t “normally see in a high school gymnast,”Wright said.

“I’m just trying to get back into things after last year,” Rybak said. “You always have to step it up a notch.”

With a new-found motivation for the sport, senior Meigan Canfield is looking to also have a big season.

“I just tried a back handspring one day and ended up landing it, and that has gotten me to try a bunch of new things,” the captain said.

“Meigan has reached a point that I haven’t seen in this program,” said Wright, who was an SHS gymnast herself, graduating in 2002. “She has really mastered all the basic skills and is moving to the next level this year. She is definitely someone to watch this year and she is only going to get better.”

All of the SHS gymnasts will get a good chance to show their competitive mettle this season, as the Tigers compete in a grueling schedule.

“Most of our events, we compete against 5A teams as well as 4A,” Wright said. ” … I do think that that helps us though, getting to see better competition.”

Overall, in a sport where success is based off judging, the Tigers are more concerned with improving their team score in each meet than having top finishes.

“We are just trying to be very consistent,” Gardner said of her team. “We have put in a lot of new routines, so we are trying to get those down and in the long run that will help us a ton.”

With the main goal being a repeat appearance at state, the Tigers feel that they are well on their way to a very successful season.

“We are so much stronger this year, and everyone is more on the same level,” Bergman said. “We just have to put out our best routines, and get them to a point where there is no doubt that you can do it.”


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