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High school gymnastics team preview capsules
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.