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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS NOTEPAD: Wolverines aim to ditch slow start

It’s been a choppy start for North Stafford’s gymnastics team.

The weather hasn’t helped; the practice schedule and a limited slate of weekday meets have frequently been disrupted the last month. And injuries have been a problem, too.

The Wolverines scored two zeros in the first Commonwealth District meet back on Dec. 18 and will likely be shorthanded again tomorrow when the Stafford schools gather at Colonial Forge.

“We’ll likely still be taking at least one zero and using some limited routines, which is frustrating,” Wolverines coach Annie Barr said Monday night. “But we really want the girls to be ready, and those girls coming off injury just haven’t had the time to prepare for a meet so soon.

“The light schedule paired with these lost practices is not helping for sure.

North Stafford practiced Monday, but with school closed today, the Wolverines won’t get together again before Wednesday’s competition.

There is no Wednesday meet next week, so Barr hopes the team can get in a solid week of practice and have a full crew ready for Colonial Forge’s Winterfest Invitational.

They’ll still be missing senior Allie Hayman, whose return is uncertain because of an injury. The all-arounder’s absence hurts.

But teammate Siobhan Bernard is rounding into form and—as one of the county’s best high school performers—that’s a huge positive.

“She’s really great,” Barr said. “All these missed practices, she’s still working to get some of her big skills ready.

“But she’s working really hard and we fully expect her to be ready for the conference meet.”

Barr still has high hopes for the postseason, especially if the Wolverines can continue to heal and finally get some consistent practice time.

“We’ve got a great group that works hard,” she said. “We just need more time for the injured girls. Hopefully it will still come together by the end of the season.”

—Justin Rice