By Craig Harper
For the Courier
A common theme prevailed for Chatfield, Columbine and Evergreen’s top gymnasts at the 5A/4A Jeffco League championships on Oct. 19 at Evergreen High School: good but there's room for improvement heading into this week’s regionals and the following week’s state meets.
Columbine’s Baylie Trammel took fourth place in the all-around with 37.075 points, followed by Chatfield’s Ana Eyssimont (fifth with a season-best 36.925). But Trammel and the Chargers’ Elizabeth Dominguez (eighth at 36.225) fell short of their season bests, while Evergreen’s Callie Cohen, who was third in the 4A state meet last year, stumbled in one of her best events and took ninth with a total of 36.100.
The host Lady Cougars posted their best team score of the year (172.500) and took fourth behind Arvada West (183.550), Pomona (179.000) and 4A rival and Jeffco outsider Elizabeth (177.700). Columbine was last in the 10-team field at 152.475. The front-running Lady Wildcats swept the top two spots in the all-around, Veronica Vasina lead the way with 37.650 points, followed by Jessica Jankowski at 37.500. Pomona’s Hadley Hagerman was third at 37.425.
Trammel placed in the top six in three of the four disciplines, including first in the vault (9.650) and third on uneven bars (9.375). But she noted there is room for improvement, especially in the stamina department.
“I started out strong, but I got tired and it was rough after the second rotation," Trammel said. “Beam and bars were tough, mainly beam. I need to focus and get my body healthier. I was kind of a little lazy on the beam this week."
Columbine co-head coach Rhonda Hardcastle termed Trammel’s performance “average, not her best by far," but added, “She pretty much nailed floor (9.325 for sixth) and vault."
Eyssimont, who skipped the 2012 high school season to compete on the club level, topped her previous best of 36.75, though she fell on her last pass in floor exercise, scoring 8.675 in her first event. She followed with 9.250 in vault, 9.625 for first on beam and 9.375 on bars.
“I had one miss that I can definitely fix," said Eyssimont, who skipped club gymnastics this year in part because she broke an elbow last February. “But I still have a lot of work to do. My goal the rest of the season isn’t so much where I place at regionals or state but that I do the best I can so I can leave satisfied."
“Ana had a rough start on floor but had an awesome finish," said Chatfield coach Chanel Chavez, who was named the Jeffco Coach of the Year. “I’d really love for her to finish in the top 10 in all-around and a couple of (individual) events at state. She’s done 9.6’s in floor, beam and bars."
Dominguez placed in the top 10 in all events except floor exercise with her best score and finish coming on the beam where she was seventh at 9.225. “She stepped it up," Chavez said. “We started rough on floor — the scoring was real hard. We still have some things we need to clean up as a team, but we plan to qualify for state."
Cohen began her day with a 9.4 for third on the beam, but struggled with some changes in her bars routine and scored 8.4. “I’ve been trying to add some new skills and I guess I haven’t done enough numbers," said Cohen, who won the bars title at last year’s state meet. “I’m going to go back to practice and work a lot on bars and try to perfect the skills.
“I had a good beam. I added a few new skills for my floor; I got through that (with a 9.2) but it was a little rough. I fell on my first vault but I landed my second one (9.1)."
Erika Kaiser (18th at 34.325) and Alex Greenbaum (19th at 34.200) finished in the top 20 in the all-around for Evergreen.
Lady Cougars coach Chancey Hines is hoping Anne Lauder can return to the all-around for regionals and state. Lauder, who was ninth on the beam (9.050) suffered a “mental setback on bars" during the middle portion of the season, according to Hines, and has only competed in the other three disciplines. “She can score in the 9s in the other three; bars is the only thing she’s lacking."
Evergreen currently has the third-best team score in 4A behind Elizabeth and Thompson Valley (177.725).