Tigers gymnasts want a return trip to state
FARMER’S KORNER – It’s state qualifying time for Summit High School gymnastics.
As the fall season passed the midway point, a sense of urgency has entered the Tigers’ mentality. While Amelia Meier, Claudia Bouvier, and Kira Breitholtz have qualified on different events, gymnasts like Katie Lindbloom, Robin Lewarton, Shauna Neely and Emma Koenig are looking towards those scores that will give them berths to the state meet.
“It usually works out that, at the beginning of the year, the state qualifiers come trickling in,” Tigers head coach Beth Flaherty said. “Then, as the season goes on, they come in bursts.”
Saturday, the Tigers played host to a slew of state contenders, including 2002 state runner-up Liberty.
The Lancers were led by Melissa Schafer, who won two events at state last year and dominated on Summit’s turf. Schafer won the all-around by three points – a blowout in gymnastics terms.
“There was a lot of really good teams,” Summit’s Emma Koenig said. “Considering we’re a pretty small team, we did pretty well. To make it to state, I would need to tighten up on my tumbling passes and my execution.”
Lindloom, meanwhile, will be unveiling a new floor routine she hopes earns her an invitation to state. She went last year when Summit made it as a team and wants a repeat.
“It’s really fun there,” said Lindbloom, who finished fifth in the vault Saturday. “The crowd is cheering. It’s nice to perform in front of that many people.”
The athletes have been tweaking routines this week and hope to add enough to catch a judge’s eye.
Saturday, Meier led the Tigers on the uneven parallel bars with a 7.8. On the vault, Bouvier led with a 8.25. Bouvier earned a state invite on the beam after nailing an 8.2 routine. Emma Koenig led the Tigers on the floor, after scoring an 8.25, a point shy of the qualification line.
On the all around, Bouvier earned a state bert with a 32.175, just ahead of the 32-point state standard. Liberty won the team competition with a 167.375, while Summit finished third with an 155.625.
It’s been a busy week for the Tigers. Tuesday and Thursday, Summit traveled to away meets, and the athletes were at the gym Saturday at 8 a.m.
Monday, the Tigers host another home meet at 5 p.m.
Still, Summit wasn’t too tired to participate in a handstand competition as the scores were being tallied. Even Flaherty got in on the action. She beat the other coaches in the entertaining invitational ritual by staying on her hands the longest.
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