VHSL Gymnastics

Strausbaugh Wins Four Events at Virginia Gymnastics Championship

By Gabrielle Bluestone
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 22, 2009

It was business as usual during the individual competition portion of the Virginia gymnastics state championships yesterday at West Potomac High School.

Floyd Kellam's Kirsten Strausbaugh took home the all-around, vault, bars and floor titles, logging a near-perfect score of 9.9 on the bars. Osbourn Park's Megan McDonald was second in the all-around and Kellam's Katie Barton was third.

"I'm really excited to end it on a good note," Strausbaugh said. "I wish [Friday] night [at the team championships] had been better, but today I really concentrated more and got the nerves out."

Strausbaugh fell during her floor routine during Friday's team competition. Though yesterday marked her last high school meet, the University of Pennsylvania-bound senior plans to continue gymnastics on the collegiate level.

Barton, also graduating this spring, hit some trouble on the bars, where a minor mistake cost her the .175 of a point that separated her from McDonald in the final standings.

"I couldn't get over on my toe-hand, and it took me a while to do it. I was upset, but now I'm fine," Barton said. "I tried my best, and I gave it my all."

Several Fairfax County gymnasts placed in the individual competition, and Chantilly had a strong presence over the weekend.

Chargers senior Elly Taura took eighth in the all-around with a score of 37.9 and placed fifth on the vault and floor. The Chargers placed third in the team competition.

Osbourn Park Is Top Team

The team title at the state gymnastics meet came down to one-tenth of a point, as Osbourn Park narrowly defeated Kellam, 150.9-150.8, on Friday to win the championship for the third consecutive time.

"We feel awesome, ecstatic. The girls came together after everything they've been through this year," Osbourn Park Coach Monica Brown said. "And when you're on, it's going to be your day. It was nice to be our day this year."

Kellam outscored Osbourn Park on the bars, beam and floor but lost key points on the vault. The Knights' 37.975 gave the Yellow Jackets an opening to rack up an extra half-point that decided the competition, with a 38.5.

"Losing by a point is hard, but I think it's harder with a tenth," Kellam Coach Debi Strausbaugh said. "You know why? It's a wobble. An unpointed toe. A bent knee."

Chantilly took third place with 144.975, beating out fourth-place Battlefield by .575 of a point.

The team competition also marked the return of Osbourn Park All-Met Jacquie Teets, who had not competed this season before Friday after injuries from a car accident. The senior competed on bars.

VHSL Gymnastics Cuts Pending: Fairfax County schools face budget cuts that could eliminate their gymnastics teams. Final budget decisions will be made in May. Formidable Regions: Eastern and Northwest region gymnasts dominated the individual competition. The two regions combined for the top seven spots in the all-around, top four on the vault, top two on the bars and top four on the floor. In a stunning sweep, the top 12 gymnasts on the beam were from Eastern or Northwest region schools.

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