Maryland Bi-County gymnastics: Blake’s Atkins takes all-around title; Blair wins first team title

May 11, 2011

A third-place finish at the Montgomery County gymnastics championship last week left Blake’s Brittany Atkins feeling unfullfilled. The ultra-competitive sophomore said she needs a top-two all-around finish to feel good about a performance.

Atkins’s smile from atop the winner’s pedestal at Old Mill after Wednesday’s Maryland Bi-County championship meet demonstrated her season ended without any more regrets. She posted a 37.175 to take the all-around title, beating Whitman’s Rebecca Curtis by less than a half-point.

“Now I see that my hard work has finally paid off and people recognize me for my talent,” Atkins said. “It’s not a waste of my time. It’s for a great cause.”

Blair took home its first team title at the meet, which matches the top gymnasts from Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties, with a 167.925. Walter Johnson — which won the Montgomery team championship — placed second, just more than seven points back.

Senior Sophie Seidell’s third-place finish in the all-around (36.400) boosted the Blazers, who finished second at the meet in 2009 and third last season.

“We were never sure that we had won,” Seidell said. “When they finally announced the scores, it was the greatest surprise.”

Atkins won on vault (9.450) and uneven bars (9.350) and finish in the top four in the other two individual events. That included a fourth-place finish on beam — an area she has struggled to perfect.

That proved just enough to beat Curtis, who placed in the top six in each individual event, including a win on beam (9.350). Whitman’s Samantha Buxbaum finished fourth in the all-around as part of a strong showing for the first-year program.

They were both in the same rotation with Atkins, and the all-around champ said that competition pushed her throughout the meet.

Atkins “handled her stress better than she normally does on competition day,” Blake Coach Victoria White said. “She just pulled through. I’m very proud of her.”

Old Mill’s Dayna Quigley won the floor exercise with a 9.350. She finished fifth all-around — best among Anne Arundel competitors.

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