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April 20, 2012

Gymnastics vaults to victory against Springbrook and Sherwood

by Mimi Verdonk, Online Sports Editor
Nelson H. Kobren Gymnasium, April 19-

Blair’s girls varsity gymnastics team, reigning state champions, (3-1) continued their winning streak Thursday night with a victory over the Springbrook Blue Devils (0-4) and the Sherwood Warriors (3-2). Despite missing their two highest level gymnasts, Katie Pohlman and CiCi Bergman, who are both training for state gymnastic competitions, the team received first place, scoring 152.5 points compared to Sherwood's 139.4 and Springbrook's 95.7. Though the lead scorer was from Sherwood, second, third and fourth place were captured by Blazers.

The team executed well in all four of the day's events. The team's seven vault participants landed variations on front handsprings, straddle overs and a move unique to freshmen Shailee Bruck, a half on-half off maneuver.

The uneven bar, previously an area of turmoil for the team, was performed with few errors during performance, though rough landings continued to be an issue. Despite this, junior Sidney Smith and Bruck each pulled off impressive tap swings and front flyaways to score 78 and 77 respectively. Head coach Hillary Wynn believed performances in the uneven bar and floor exercise, which were previously points of weakness, are what helped the Blazers succeed. "All the events really improved," Wynn said. "It was all a lot better than the last two meets."

Despite a rough stretch on the balance beams, where almost all of the gymnasts fell off on jumps, the team managed to maintain composure into the floor exercise, the day's final event. Senior captain Sara Pollacco's precision with her forward pike roll and effortless split to a salsa remix helped her to score an 89 in the event. Smith, Bruck and junior Kayla McCaw all had scores of 8.0 or higher as well.

Since a loss in their first meet, and a bit of difficulty in last week's events, the team has been focusing more of their attention on practice. The team participated in a mock meet to prepare them for their competition against Sherwood and Springbrook. McCaw believes that hard work at practice paid off in their victory. "Our mock meet put us in the same situations as if we were really competing," she said.

Wynn believes it will be the same tenacity that will help the team continue their success and repeat last year’s championship performance. Through a high pressure atmosphere, Wynn trusts the team will continue to get better as county competition continues. "We just need to go back into the gym to practice the spots where we bobbled and wobbled," she said. "We’re striving to be perfect and perform better every meet."

Editor’s note: Katie Pohlman is a member of Silver Chips Print staff.

The gymnastics team will participate in their next home meet on Thursday, April 26, against B-CC and Whitman at 5:30 pm



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  • Shawn Johnson on April 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM
    Wow, the gymnastics team seems to be the best sport at Blair!!! Can't wait to be at there next meet!!! GO BLAZERS
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