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High school gymnastics team preview capsules

BROOKE POINT

Coach: Sarah Brown

Last year: Fifth in district

Top returners: Jr. Dylana Wilhelm, Jr. Kayla Lyall.

Top newcomers: Fr. Alysia Gray,

Fr. Amber Petty.

Outlook: Wilhelm is one of the district’s top returning gymnasts, and some talented freshmen should contribute as well.

COLONIAL FORGE

Coach: Kim Thornburg

Last year: Second in district

Top returners: Sr. Ashley Elston, Sr. Lacey Kondos, Jr. Mollie Clemons, So. Haley Cooper.

Top newcomers: Fr. Shannon Lea, Fr. Jessie Lupi, Fr. Mary Howe.

Outlook: Ashley Elston is the defending Commonwealth District champion and Free Lance–Star gymnast of the year. Three other all-arounders return, and two freshmEn have club experience and should be all-arounders. That should make Colonial Forge a district contender again.

MOUNTAIN VIEW

Coach: Dawn Dixon

Last year: Fourth in district

Top returners: Sr. Ariel Ellixson,

Jr. Danielle Felsted, So. Naomi Cassell.

Outlook: Eight gymnasts return from last year’s team to lead the Wildcats. Ellixson, Felsted and Cassell make a strong trio of all-arounders.

NORTH STAFFORD

Coach: Annie Barr

Last year: Third in district

Top returners: Sr. Anika Woodard, Sr. Michaela Connally, Sr. Hayley Stoutenborough, Jr. Kara Benz,

Jr. Malia Reckard, Jr. Jasmine O’Banner, So. Siobhan Bernard, So. Allie Hayman, So. Marissa Lynch.

Outlook: Woodard is one of the area’s top returning gymnasts—she was second all-around in the region last year, with vault and bars championships. And with a large group of other returners—including Connally, a regional qualifier last year—the Wolverines should be very competitive this season.

ORANGE

Coach: Kat Adams

Last year: Competed in Group AA

Top returners: Sr. Elizabeth Higginbotham, Jr. Breanna Collins, Jr. Grayson Goudelock, Jr. Courtney Schill.

Top newcomers: Fr. McKayla Martin, So. Jasmine Dinkins.

Outlook: Orange has a new coach and will get an introduction to Group AAA. Higginbotham can post good beam and floor scores. Goudelock and Schill are good gymnasts, but are battling injuries.

STAFFORD

Coach: Shawn Thurston

Last year: Commonwealth District champions, second in region.

Top returners: So. Ashley Hinton, Sr. Sammy Krejdovsky, Jessica Riley, Emily George.

Top newcomers: Fr. Brynne Reeves

Outlook: As always, depth will be Stafford’s best asset. Hinton was the Indians’ best all-arounder last year and an all-area pick. Reeves, a club gymnast, should contribute in the all-around.

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