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Archive for Sunday, September 25, 2005

City gymnasts dominate FSHS invite

LHS, Free State finish 1-2

September 25, 2005

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Lawrence High and Free State may be rivals in every other sport, but when it comes to gymnastics, the two teams are big fans of each other.

Both teams are coached by Kathy Johnson, and at competitions such as Saturday's six-team Free State Invitational, the gymnasts cheer for one another regardless of the color on their uniforms.

The two Lawrence schools dominated the meet, which featured individual, all-around and team competition between LHS, Free State, Emporia, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Newton and Hutchinson.

LHS won the meet with 107.075 points, while Free State finished second with 103.05.

Johnson said she didn't know what the competition would be like, but was proud of the way the gymnasts performed.

"I thought we did a lot of things well today," Johnson said. "There are always things you want to improve on, but overall, I thought the girls did good."

The best overall team at the meet also had the best gymnast. Mallory West, a sophomore at LHS, won the individual all-around competition after scoring 36.3 points. Kara Kellison, also from LHS, finished third at 35.45 points.

Although West did not finish first in any of the individual events, she placed in each one except the floor exercise, giving her enough points to win the all-around competition.

West placed second in the vault, third on the balance beam and second on the uneven bars. She said she was bothered by an ankle sprain in practice this week, and was relieved that she performed so well, especially on the vault.

"I thought it was one of my best vaults of the year," West said. "I haven't been working out or conditioning my body, but I still think I did pretty good."

Two gymnasts from Free State placed first in individual events, and one gymnast from LHS tied for a top spot.

Free State's Jennifer Pogge finished first on the balance beam after a score of 9.325, and the Firebirds' Amelia Firns-Hubert won the uneven bars, scoring 9.35. Lindsey Fisher, from LHS, tied with Lauren Morris of Hutchinson for first place in the floor exercise at 9.3.

The city schools dominated the balance beam with Pogge finishing first, Kellison second and West third. Johnson said the girls' ability to stay on the beam was a big part of the reason the teams finished in the top two spots.

"Beam tends to be an event that makes or breaks a team, because five-tenths a point is deducted every time you fall off," Johnson said. "We stayed on beam really well."

Both teams will travel Thursday to Olathe East for their next competition. Johnson said she would focus primarily on beam and bars this week in practice to prepare for the competition.

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