THORNTON — An out-of-bounds stumble and a fall wasn’t going to keep Lakewood junior Lauren Burt from her mission to win the Class 5A gymnastics individual all-around title Nov. 3.
“Lauren has just worked so hard,” Lakewood coach Christine Kamin said. “She showed up this season having worked the nine months during the off-season just ready. Ready to be the best in the state.”
Burt outshined the rest of the competition with an all-around score of 38.325 on the first night of state gymnastics meet at Thornton High School. Chatfield’s Adia Friesen was runner-up with a 37.6 and Arvada West’s Kayla Powell placed third with a 37.2.
“I had a couple of mistakes, but it was really my team and coaches that supported me and kept me going,” Burt said. “It was really great having them support me no matter what.”
The meet started out rough with Burt stepping out-of-bounds attempting a double-back during her floor routine on the Tigers’ first rotation.
“We put that double-back in on floor because that is how you are the best of the best. Doing skills that no one else can due,” Kamin said of the degree of difficulty Burt had in her floor routine that scored a 9.525. “She wanted to come out and do the biggest skills she can.”
Burt rebounded with the best vault of the night on her next rotation. The junior nailed a score of 9.95 on the vault. The next best score was 9.55 by Broomfield’s Kaya Duncan that helped the Eagles to the 5A team title.
“Vault was super exciting,” Burt said. “It has been one of my goals to get a 10 on vault. It wasn’t quite that, but I was really happy with the score.”
Burt said she hoped to score a 10 during the event finals on Saturday. Lakewood graduate and 2018 all-around state champion Amber Boll had a perfect 10 on the vault the year she swept the all-around and four individual event finals.
The beam was another setback for Burt that she had to overcome. She fell off the beam and scored a 9.05 to put her 17th in the beam standings.
“I knew if she hit it would be very hard for anyone to beat her,” Kamin said of Burt. “With the fall on beam it opened things up a little bit. I didn’t know if it would happen, but I knew her start values were so high she could fall and still win.”
The most frightening moment of the night came when Burt’s teammate and defending all-round champion — Lakewood senior Izzy Gee — peeled off the low bar during first part of her routine and landed on the back of her neck.
Gee was on the mat being attended by trainers for several minutes before getting up and being consoled by teammates and coaches after the hard fall.
“It’s tough,” Kamin said of Gee not making Saturday’s individual event finals in the bars where she has won two titles during her impressive prep career. “She is one of the best bar workers in the state and does skills that no one else does and executes them well. It’s really a bummer.”
Burt followed Gee on the bars after the fall.
“It was hard seeing that,” Burt admitted. “I was really disappointed for her (Gee) because I know she has worked so hard and deserved to have a great senior year.”
Burt was impressive with a score of 9.8 on the bars to finish out her night and lock up the individual state title. It is the ninth time in 10 years that a Jeffco gymnast has captured the 5A all-around.
“I think it is really important because it shows we are just one team,” Burt said of Jeffco’s dominance over the past decade in the 5A all-around. “We are all supportive no matter what.”
Burt continued to dominate at the individual finals Nov. 5. The junior captured the floor, vault and bars individual titles. Friesen from Chatfield completed the Jeffco sweep of the individual titles by winning the beam title Saturday.
On the 4A side, Standley Lake’s Tessa Grudle won the all-around title Nov. 4. She followed that up with the individual floor title the next day. Evergreen’s Lola Visci won the bars title for the Cougars.
Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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