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NW Region Gymnastics Meet: Hustling Indians reach Group AAA state tournament




The Stafford gymnastics team’s final preparations for the Northwest Region meet actually began late Friday night.

The Indians were the host team, so on Friday they had to wait for Stafford’s boys basketball team to finish its district tournament game. Then they had to set up mats and equipment as quickly as possible.

When they returned to the gym Saturday morning, most everything was in place. And the comforts of home seemed to help Stafford’s gymnasts, as they placed second as a team and qualified for next weekend’s Group AAA state tournament.

“I thought they did really well today,” Indians coach Shawn Thurston said. “They worked really hard all week, and now they’re excited about going to states.”

The Indians finished with 143.8 points, leaving them a close second to Freedom, which had 144.225. North Stafford placed fifth.

Several area gymnasts had standout individual performances as well.

The Indians were paced by Ashley Hinton, who won a regional title on the beam, placed third on the bars and floor, and finished eighth on the vault.

Hinton placed second in the all-around competition.

She said she changed her vault this week to a Yurchenko, which includes a roundoff and back handspring.

“I think the day went well,” Hinton said. “I was happy to hit my vault.”

She was most pleased that the team advanced to the state meet.

“As a team, I think we were strong in everything today,” Hinton said.

North Stafford’s Anika Woodard placed third in the all-around.

She finished second on the bars, third on the vault and seventh on the beam.

She was most pleased, however, with her performance on the floor, where she scored a 9.4.

“Normally I get around a 9.0, so I was pleased with a 9.4,” she said. “My jumps and connections were better.”

Woodard said she needs to clean up her beam routine before the state meet.

“I have a couple things up my sleeve that I can throw at states, so I most likely will,” Woodard said. “That’ll be fun.”

Colonial Forge’s Ashley Elston placed third in the all-around.

She finished second on the vault, fifth on the bars and sixth on both the beam and the floor.

“I did a new vault today, a front-front, and I actually stuck it,” she said. “I was consistent throughout the day.”

Brooke Point’s Dylana Wilhelm qualified for states in all four individual events, placing fourth on the vault and the floor and seventh on the beam and bars.

North Stafford’s Michaela Connolly won a regional title in the floor exercise.

    Team scores: 1. Freedom 144.225, 2. Stafford 143.8, 3. Battlefield 142.775, 4. Osbourn Park 136.05, 5. North Stafford 133.025.

    Bars: 1. Arianna Robinson (F) 9.5, 2. Anika Woodard (NS) 9.45, 3. Ashley Hinton (S) 9.325, 4. Taylor Rozzi (OP) 9.125, 5. Ashley Elston (CF) 9.0, 6. Shannon Landry (F) 8.85, 7. Dylana Wilhelm (BP) 8.825, 8. Brynne Reeves (S) 8.75.

    Beam: 1. Ashley Hinton (S) 9.325, 2. Arianna Robinson (F) 9.275, 3. Alex Fairbanks (B) 9.2, 4. Emily George (S) 9.1, 4. Jena Schroeder (B) 9.1, 6. Ashley Elston (CF) 9.05, 7. Dylana Wilhelm (BP) 8.825, 7. Anika Woodard (NS) 8.825, 7. Victoria Krivo (B) 8.825.

    Floor: 1. Michaela Connolly (NS) 9.7, 2. Alex Fairbanks (B) 9.675, 3. Ashley Hinton (S) 9.6, 4. Arianna Robinson (F) 9.55, 4. Dylana Wilhelm (BP) 9.55, 6. Ashley Elston (CF) 9.475, 7. Shannon Landry (F) 9.45, 8. Kassie Krivo (B) 9.425.

    Vault: 1. Arianna Robinson (F) 9.85, 2. Ashley Elston (CF) 9.7, 3. Anika Woodard (NS) 9.55, 4. Dylana Wilhelm (BP) 9.525, 5. Taylor Rozzi (OP) 9.4, 6. Alex Fairbanks (B) 9.3, 7. Adriona Payne (S) 9.175, 8. Dee Knox (OP) 9.15, 8. Ashley Hinton (S) 9.15.

    All-around: 1. Arianna Robinson (Freedom) 38.175, 2. Ashley Hinton (Stafford) 37.4, 3. Anika Woodard (NS) 37.225, 3. Ashley Elston (CF) 37.225.

Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442