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High school gymnastics notepad: Wolverines hope to challenge Indians

Stafford would be a safe bet to win the Commonwealth District team title at the district gymnastics championship on Saturday.

The Indians have depth that none of the other six district schools can field. Earlier this month, Stafford won Colonial Forge’s Winterfest Invitational, a meet that featured all of the district’s schools except Orange.

The Indians didn’t have a single event winner, but they posted four scores above 9.0 on beam and floor, and finished five points ahead of Colonial Forge, the next best local squad.

But don’t count out North Stafford this weekend.

Three different Wolverines (Siobhan Bernard, Michaela Connally and Anika Woodard) have won all-around titles at midweek district events this season.

Woodard was competing with her club team during the weekend of Winterfest, and she’s a difference-maker. She was second in the region all-around last year and second on bars and vault in the state.

Connally is maybe the most improved this season of all the area’s top high school gymnasts.

That trio alone can make North Stafford a contender for the team title.

Individually, the all-around competition should be similar to last year’s. Four of the top five all-arounders from 2011 are back this year, including Woodard, Colonial Forge’s Ashley Elston (last year’s champion), Brooke Point’s Dylana Wilhelm and Stafford’s Ashley Hinton.

Connally and Mountain View’s Ariel Ellixson should also factor into the all-around race.

The district meet is Saturday at Brooke Point. Competition begins at 10 a.m. and admission is $6.

—Justin Rice