When she was still in the air, Hayfield’s Molly Overstreet knew the vault was a good one. Four hours after she landed, she learned it was good enough to earn her a share of the title at Saturday’s Virginia AAA individual gymnastics championships at Centreville.
The freshman’s 9.80 score launched her into a three-way tie for first in the event, making her the first Hayfield gymnast to earn a state championship.
“Usually being a freshman, people don’t know you that much, so it’s definitely nerve-racking coming in, but it was fun,” Overstreet said.
The vault, a Yurchenko layout, came in the day’s first rotation. It’s one Overstreet has done in club gymnastics as well, and it feels comfortable for her. She topped the 9.60 she earned in the event at last week’s Northern Region championship, equaling later scores put up by Jamie Stone of Western Branch and Helaina Dollins of Princess Anne.
Stone defended her all-around title, edging fellow Eastern Region gymnast Courtney Adams of Great Bridge, 39.10 to 39.00. Marshall sophomore Morgan Stahl, an All-Met honorable mention last year, led local competitors in the all-around by finishing third with a personal-best 38.325, a 0.75 improvement over her score at the Northern Region championship.
Stahl had finished fourth there and said she wasn’t expecting to wind up on the medal stand. But she finished second in the floor exercise and tied for fifth in the vault, with scores of 9.725, and was fourth in the balance beam at 9.675.
“Last year I didn’t place in anything, so coming into today I was just trying to do my best and focus on my routines and not worry about the scores,” Stahl said.
“My floor and my vault were some of my best this season and raised my score a bunch.”
Northern Region all-around champion Simone Freidman of W.T. Woodson was fourth and Overstreet was sixth. The 2012 All-Met Gymnast of the Year, Mary Lynn Clark, who helped Washington-Lee to second place at Friday’s team championships, was eighth.
Besides sharing first in the vault, Overstreet tied for third with a 9.775 on the uneven bars during the second rotation. That kept her in strong contention for an all-around title, and although a fall on the balance beam struck a serious blow to those hopes, the competition capped a successful freshman year.
“It’s definitely a lot different than club,” Overstreet said of high school gymnastics. “I really like it, though. People know me and my school for gymnastics now.”
Other top finishers among locals were Freidman (tied for second in balance beam, tied for fifth in floor), Westfield’s Katie Freix (fourth in floor exercise) and Chantilly’s Kelsey O’Connor (sixth in uneven bars).