Gymnastics: Overland performs well at 5A state meet, finishes as state runner-up to Pomona

Trailblazers post season-high score, but Panthers prevail

Overland High School gymnastics team takes second in the state on Nov. 3 at Thornton High School. Photo by Michael Ortiz/ Aurora Sentinel
The Overland co-op gymnastics team poses with the Class 5A state runner-up trophy after the team competition on Nov. 3, 2016, at Thornton High School. The Trailblazers scored 185.875 points to finish behind Pomona, which won its second consecutive state title. (Photo by Michael Ortiz/Aurora Sentinel)

THORNTON | The Overland co-op gymnastics team came into Thursday’s Class 5A state meet undefeated and posted its best score of the season in the competition at Thornton High School.

It wasn’t quite enough for the Trailblazers, who exceeded coach Lisa Sparrow’s expectations, but a fully healthy Pomona team had a little too much individual firepower in winning its second straight state title.

Sparrow’s ultra-deep Overland team scored 185.875 points in its bid to win the program’s fifth state championship in eight seasons, only to see the front-loaded Panthers — who had three of the top-four finishers in the all-around competition — check in with 187.7 to repeat atop the field.

“We had the best possible meet we could have and there’s nothing more we could have done,” said Sparrow, whose team climbed up two spots in the team standings from 2015.

“Pomona showed up and had a great day and they were the better team, so hats off to them,” she added. “They have some very strong individuals on the team.”

Indeed the Panthers — with their full lineup in place for the first time in weeks — rode the backs of Brooke Weins, Kaylie Berens and Kelsey Boychuk, who went 1-2-4, in the all-around competition.

The Trailblazers, conversely, had just one all-around entry in freshman Samantha Demoss (Eaglecrest), who performed well on her way to eighth place in her state debut.

Overland employed tremendous depth all season, which helped them make up for the loss to injury of seniors McKenna Turbyne and Madie Venegas, and did so again at state. While Pomona had four gymnasts compete in all four events, Overland used a combined 13 gymnasts to fill the lineup for all the events.

Demoss competed in four events, while junior Christie Yee (Cherokee Trail) and sophomore Delenn Steffes (Overland) each took part on the balance beam, floor and uneven bars.

Yee scored a meet-high 9.675 points on the floor to lead the Trailblazers to a 47.000 score — the best of any team in the field — which followed a 45.375 effort on the uneven bars. Overland trailed Pomona by just 0.175 of a point through two events.

Freshman Annabelle Pedderson (Smoky Hill) tallied a 9.725 on the vault to help the Trailblazers score a very strong 47.1 as a team, but the Panthers were even better with a 48.325 to gain some separation.

The top 15 competitors from each event advanced to Saturday’s individual event finals and plenty of Overland gymnasts were among them.

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Overland gymnasts watch teammate Natalie Wilson perform her routine on the uneven bars during the team competition at the Class 5A state gymnastics meet on Nov. 3, 2016, at Thornton High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Demoss is headed to compete in the balance beam and floor exercise, while Yee advanced in the floor exercise, Pedderson moved on in the vault, sophomore Natalie Wilson (Vista PEAK) qualified for the finals in the uneven bars, junior Mackenzie French (Cherokee Trail) made it in the vault and sophomore Elena Reiffin (Cherokee Trail) advanced on the balance beam.

Cherokee Trail athletes Aumni Ashby and Sarah Fangrow competed for the Cherry Creek team and helped the Bruins to fourth place in the team competition, while both made the individual event finals in one event apiece.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or sports@aurorasentinel.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2016 CLASS 5A STATE GYMNASTICS MEET

Nov. 3 at Thornton High School

Team scores: 1. Pomona 187.7 points; 2. OVERLAND 185.875; 3. Broomfield 182.575; 4. Cherry Creek 182.225; 5. Lakewood 179.65; 6. Arvada West 178.975; 7. Thornton 178.85; 8. Chatfield 178.15; 9. Rocky Mountain 177.9; 10. Mountain Range 175.35

All-around competition: 1. Brooke Weins (Pomona), 38.925 points; 2. Amber Boll (Lakewood), 38.275; 3. Kaylie Berens (Pomona), 37.975; 4. Kelsey Boychuk (Pomona), 37.775; 5. Mackenzie Doerr (Cherry Creek), 37.450; 6. Nicki Verheyen (Broomfield), 37.400; 7. Avery Paxton (Cherry Creek), 37.275; 8. SAMANTHA DEMOSS (OVERLAND), 37.100

Overland scores by event: Vault — Annabelle Pedderson, 9.725 (9.700); Mackenzie French, 9.425 (9.438); Aaliyah Jamison, 9.350 (9.350) (9.250); Natalie Wilson, 9.325 (9.325); Sara Liberatore, 9.275 (9.275); Samantha Demoss, 9.200 (9.188); Uneven bars — Delenn Steffes, 9.300 (9.300); Josie Claycamp, 9.125; Natalie Wilson, 9.050 (9.063); Samantha Demoss, 8.975 (8.975) (9.000); Christie Yee, 8.925 (8.913); Mackenzie French, 8.500 (8.488) (8.400); Floor — Christie Yee, 9.675; Delenn Steffes, 9.525 (9.525); Samantha Demoss, 9.375; Makayla Rusk, 9.275; Annabelle Pedderson, 9.150 (9.238); Sofia Fiocchi, 9.100 (9.063) (9.100); Balance beam — Delenn Steffes, 9.575; Samantha Demoss, 9.550 (9.563); Elena Reiffin, 9.525; Annabelle Pedderson, 8.950 (8.950); Christie Yee, 8.800 (8.813); Alli Olson, 8.350 (8.363)

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