After beating 17 teams in the regional round of competition, Elizabeth High School's gymnastics team dominated the 4A state championship at Thornton High on Nov. 8, with the top score of 179.7. It's …
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After beating 17 teams in the regional round of competition, Elizabeth High School's gymnastics team dominated the 4A state championship at Thornton High on Nov. 8, with the top score of 179.7. It's the fifth time the Elizabeth team has won state since its inception in 2006.
The team of 23 gymnasts, ranging in age from 14 to 18, competed in the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor routines. According to head coach Stacey Folmar, the team counted zero falls, and had no mistakes that counted against them.
“We had a perfect meet,” said Folmar. “We did well throughout the season, and sometimes it's hard to keep the momentum going into the postseason, but the team was more motivated and more driven than I really thought possible.”
Folmar credits this year's win to the dedication and hard work of all the team members, and after placing third last year, they were determined to bring the championship back to Elizabeth.
“This year we had a group of kids that were extremely driven and responsible,” said Folmar. “They had goals they wanted to reach, and put in the work to get there. The ladies made it happen.”
Working as a team was vital in the competition, where six girls competed in the four events.
“I feel like there was no superstar on our team this year,” said Folmar. “It took everyone on our team practicing until it was perfect, and we basically had perfect sets.”
In addition to the long hours of practicing and dedication to their sport, Folmar said the camaraderie among team members helps everyone on the team succeed.
“The older girls have beautifully been role models for the younger girls, and as young women, they all strive to be kind, respectful and supportive of each other,” said Folmar.
The champions were given the royal treatment when they returned to school on Nov. 11, arriving by limousine and being honored by fellow students, staff and community members in a short assembly to recognize the team and individual accomplishments.
“The work ethic and discipline it takes to be a gymnast is insane,” said John Everhart, Elizabeth High athletic director. “They are taking two days off to celebrate, but then they're going back to work. They want to defend their title next year, there's basically a target on their back, but I think they like that.”
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