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Gymnastics notepad: Wilhelm vaults into contention

The pike tsuk cq vault Brooke Point junior Dylana Wilhelm performed at Saturday’s Winterfest Invitational is the same she’s been using in competitions. It’s just her development that makes it appear more powerful.

“She’s been working hard at it, trying to make the corrections,” Brooke Point coach Sarah Brown said. “She’s matured a lot and is understanding of the skills. She may be little, but she’s one powerful little thing. It’s just making technique corrections that have helped her.”

Wilhelm’s vault wasn’t perfect—she scored a 9.275 to win the Green Division event on her way to the division’s all-around title. But it did demonstrate the area where she’s taken the biggest step forward this season: confidence.

“She’s a phenomenal gymnast and for some reason she doesn’t always realize that,” Brown said. “She’s maturing and realizing she’s as good as everyone tells her she is.”

Wilhelm was second in the Commonwealth District and fourth in the Northwest Region all-around last year, and should be a contender at both events this season. Her 36.925 was the best Saturday among local gymnasts.

Her growing confidence has helped, Brown said, making a connection with judges. And more so than in the past, even when she’s been Brooke Point’s best gymnast, she’s taken on the mantle of “leader” this spring.

“She’s doing a lot more with the girls and taking that leadership role,” Brown said. “In events, she’s letting her personality really come through.”

North Stafford hosts this week’s district quad meet tomorrow with Colonial Forge, Mountain View and Orange. Patriot High School in Prince William County—which opened this year—hosts a Saturday invitational that will include several local schools.

—Justin Rice

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