Union Street Journal

Gymnastics take 8th in State

Team+captain+Ana+George+broke+a+school+record+in+her+vault+routine+at+State.+She+also+performed+in+floor%2C+above.
Team captain Ana George broke a school record in her vault routine at State. She also performed in floor, above.

Team captain Ana George broke a school record in her vault routine at State. She also performed in floor, above.

Courtesy of Sam Girgis/triplegeffects.smugmug.com

Courtesy of Sam Girgis/triplegeffects.smugmug.com

Team captain Ana George broke a school record in her vault routine at State. She also performed in floor, above.

Adam Barrett, Staff Writer

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From November 2nd to 4th, schools from around the state gathered at Thornton High School for the 2017 Colorado High School State Gymnastics meet.

Among these schools was Cherry Creek High School.

The Bruins started their journey to the State Meet back in August and have finished a long journey with an impressive 8th place finish at State.

When the Creek gymnastics team showed up at State on Nov. 2, they were ranked 9th and hoping not to finish worse than that.

It was not easy to even get to State this year.

“Our four best gymnasts graduated last year,” junior Gabbi Varela said, “and then one of our seniors got a season-ending injury.”

Those four seniors – Avery Paxton (now a Baylor Cheerleader), Olivia Guarino, Mackenzie Doerr, and Sarah Fangrow – helped Creek finish fourth in the state last year.

That season-ending injury happened to senior Tamara Sriram, who Coach Jan Steward called “one of our top gymnasts.”

While it might have seemed that the season ended before it began, Steward was able to adapt and get her team to qualify for state.

“We were missing three varsity vaulters and two varsity beam, bars, and floor competitors,” Steward said. “We were relying on JV girls and they really rose to the occasion.”

At State, the team recorded their highest score all season with a score of 176.425.

“I was extremely proud of them,” Steward said.

One of the biggest contributors to this achievement was Senior Gymnast Ana George who qualified for three events and placed in all three including a second place finish in vault while breaking the school record with a 9.95/10 and placing fifth place overall.

George has proved herself a huge part of the team this year as both an athlete and a leader.

“She actually was named a team captain even though it has always been a rule that you have had to have been on the team two previous years in order to qualify for captain. She just moved to Denver last year but only joined our team this year.” Steward said.

The departure of this source of leadership and skill may prove another hurdle for the team to overcome next season.

Steward said, “We have some talented gymnasts on our team but at this point no one that has the skill level as Ana. But I think our team has great potential.”

Steward was especially impressed with the team’s performance because of the competition. Schools from around the state competed in the meet including some returning powerhouse programs.

“The big competition of the meet was Pomona,” Varela said. “They’ve won the past three years now, and Overland [placed] second the past two years.”

Along with these two, Broomfield and Thornton also put forth competitive performances to grab third and fourth place overall.

This successful state trip marks the end of another Creeknastics season.

The team will return next fall season as they begin another drive for a successful visit to the state meet.

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Gymnastics take 8th in State