“I’ve never seen a 10 before,” an awed fan mused to those around her in the bleachers in the Stone Bridge gym after Freedom-South Riding’s Arianna Robinson nailed a breathtaking, high-flying vault at the Virginia 5A North region championships Sunday to earn a rare perfect score.
Robinson said she hadn’t seen one either.
“I’ve never done that before,” she said of her perfectly executed Ilg tuck: a front handspring onto the springboard, another front handspring onto the table and a front tuck off.
A flawless vault produced a memorable first, but near-perfect moments defined the meet for Robinson, her sister Mikayla and the Freedom team.
Arianna and Mikayla finished first and second in the all-around and first, second or third in all four events to propel the Eagles to the Virginia 5A North region championship.
“She’s so well-deserving of it,” Eagles Coach Laura Wrighte said of Freeman’s vault score. “There were a couple times we thought she might get it during the season, so it was really nice she did it today.”
Arianna, a senior, needed to be almost perfect to beat her sister, a freshman, for the all-around title.
Arianna finished with 38.884 points and Mikayla with 38.166. Marshall’s Morgan Stahl earned 37.666 to take third place and join the Robinsons in qualifying for the all-around at the 5A state individual championship Saturday at Salem High School in Virginia Beach.
“It depends on the day,” Mikayla laughed when asked whether the sisters’ relationship leans more toward competitiveness or mutual support. “When the scores get close, it gets a little bit more competitive.”
Despite the post-meet laughs and hugs, the scores suggest Sunday was one of the competitive days. Arianna needed that perfect score to beat Mikayla’s 9.783 in the vault, though Mikayla (9.783) edged her sister (9.750) for second in the floor exercise. In that event, neither could outdo Sara Connors of Briar Woods; her 9.817 earned her the top spot.
But no team could match Freedom’s firepower, which extended far beyond the Robinsons to senior Alli Gibbs, who finished fifth on bars, beam and in the all-around.
The top five finishers in each of the four events qualified for states, so the Robinsons, Stahl and Gibbs joined Stuart’s Eleanor Freed (all four events) and Loudoun County’s Victoria Miner (vault, floor) in earning multiple bids to the state individual meet.
Cara Fragala qualified in the floor exercise with her fifth-place finish Sunday for Freedom.
The Eagles (148.183) and 5A region runner-up Stone Bridge (136.466) advance to the state team meet Friday.