- By Jocelyn Rowley sports@Lhvc.com
The Niwot gymnastics team closed out the regular season dual schedule against the Class 5A Broomfield Eagles on Oct. 11. Despite winning four of the top six all-around spots, the Cougars fell to the Eagles by a score of 180.775 to 175.9.
Junior Lindsay Chohon captured second all-around for Niwot with a first-place finish in the vault. Niwot freshman Grace Stephenson was third overall, followed by sophomore Taylor Green in fourth. Senior Lilliana Martin, who was fully cleared from injury the week before, took fifth all-around with a third place in the vault competition.
For Chohon, who has been a top performer in floor and vault this season, the Cougars are hitting their stride at the right time.
“This meet went really well tonight, and we worked together as a team,” she said after top-three finishes in the beam and floor competitions against the Eagles. “We didn’t hit our best team score tonight, but that’s going to come.
“In the beginning [of the season], we were kind of off to a rough start,” she continued. “But we’re definitely improving, and there’s only room to go up from here.”
For Niwot head coach Marisa Purcell, having all of her all-around gymnasts healthy and ready for the post-season is a huge relief, even if there is still work to be done. The Cougars are also missing top vaulter Isabel Mitchell, who is out with a leg injury and may miss the upcoming league and regional meets.
“We got Lilly Martin back in all-around, so that has helped tremendously,” Purcell said following the dual. “Last week, we scored our highest score of the season, a 176.1, and that’s definitely confidence-building and it’s helping the girls realize too how much practicing pays off, and I think as these next couple of weeks go on, we’re just going to try and build on top that and work towards cleaning up those routines.”
On Oct. 7, Niwot competed in the Broomfield Invite along with nine other teams from both Class 4A and Class 5A. Overland edged out defending champs Pomona for the team title on the day, and the Cougars took sixth overall with the aforementioned 176.1 score, led by Chohon’s sixth-place finish in the floor competition.
The Cougars are set to compete in the league championships at Rocky Mountain High in Fort Collins on Oct. 19. Class 4A Regionals are set for Oct. 28, and the State Championships will be held on Nov. 3-4. Purcell acknowledged that her team still needs some improvement heading into the post-season, particularly on the beam, but is confident things will come together now that the (almost) full varsity squad is working together.
“Just keep practicing, that’s all we do this time of year,” she said. “Getting back into the gym, having them get back into in sync with one another, and just laying it all out there.”
10/7 — Broomfield Invite
1. Overland 186.7; 2. Pomona 183.325; 3. Broomfield 182.975; 4. Thornton 181.825; 5. Elizabeth 178.65; 6. Niwot 176.125; 7. Chatfield 171.025; 8. Mountain Range 167.4; 9. Green Mountain 165.925; 10. Bear Creek 164.225
10/ 11 — Broomfield 180.775, NIWOT 175.9
All-around — 2. Chohon 3. Stephenson 4. Green 5. Martin
Vault — 1. Chohon 3. Martin
Floor — 3. Chohon
Beam — 2. Chohon