Lake Braddock and Westr Springfield, the Virginia AAA state champion and runnersup, are expected to dominate the region again. Misty Minger, last year's state all-around runnerup, is leading the Bruins, who have shown superiority over West Springfield early in the season.
The Gunston and potomac Districts are strapped for coaches and therfore have several coaches running more than one program. Chantilly has the strength to dominate the Potomac District while Edison and Lee will battle it out for Gunston title.
Madison, South Lakes and Herndon are all strong in the Great Falls District, leaving it difficult to predict a leader.
NORTHERN DISTRICT Lake Braddock
Coach Ann Ripley is coming off last year's Virginia AAA state championship season with another strong team. Misty Minger, the state all-around runnerup, returns to dominate the individual competition. Senior Shannon PROPPS AND Nancy McElvain add to the Bruins all-around talent.
Freshman Marchelle Yoch is a promising all-around gymnast and senior Julie Minton adds her bars, floor and beam talent to insure the Bruins' dominance. Oakton
The Cougars weren't particularly strong in the tough Northern District last year, but are returning with a lot of talent, according to third-year coach Tyra Settle. Tina Swartz, a state competitor in the vault, will lead Oakton in the top all-around position and as the only senior.
Juniors Amy Lorah and Nikky Berg and sophomore Amy Krueger will also score some points in the all-around category. Robinson
While Allan Lewis takes some time off from coaching the girls team, Maureen Bayne will fill in with help from assistant Cindy Morris. Although they lost their first two meets to Lake Braddock and West Springfield, the Rams beat Woodson last week, scoring 143 points.
Stephanie Kingsbery will lead the eight-member squad, as she specializes in the vault, floor exercise and balance beam. Newcomer Michelle Sack, a sophomore, is the top all-around prospect as Robinson aims to be competitive with all of the top teams this season. West Springfield
The Spartans will be without the talent of Sheri Suzi, last year's Virginia AAA all-around champion, who graduated. But Coach Gerry Royals can still be optimistic as his team returns with the talent of Lee Anne Revell, a sophomore who performed well in the state meet last year.
Sophomore Rachel Griffin adds to the all-around power of the state runnersup.
With six seniors specializing in various events, the Spartans are aiming to dethrone Lake Braddock. IN three head-to-head meets with the Bruins this year, West Springfield won one and lost the other two by close margins. GREAT FALLS DISTRICT Herndon
The Hornets have five promising all-around performers to help them better last year's fourth-place district finish. Coach Mike Comini brings his experience as coach of Herndon's boys team, the three-time Northern Region champion.
Meredith Swanzy, a junior, was a state-level competitor last year. Freshman Kathryn Pastuszak also adds to Herndon's all-around lineup.
Junior Kim Newsome, whose brother Marty is the two-time defending Northern Region all-around champion, contributes her talent on balance beam and vault. Madison
The Warhawks are back to defend their district title with a young but experienced team. Sophomores Diane Hudock, Mandy Hargis and Amanda York, all former club gymnasts, return to lead the team through a tough year.
Madison lost its first two meets, to Herndon and South Lakes, but defeated Washington-Lee and Marshall in a tri-meet last week. With newcomers Suzanne Walther and Kim Horton, Coach Pam Rawlinson expects another successful season.
Walther, a senior who has been concentrating mainly on club competition, brings her all-around strength and experience. Horton, a freshman, has scored high so far this year, especially in the floor exercise. Marshall
Coach Shari Chilbert is new to the Statesmen team as are many of her gymnasts. With six freshmen, one sophomore and one junior, inexperience is their weakness. But freshmen Vanessa Do and Shani Alcorn have shown a lot of potential.
Sophomore Angela Jensvold returns to compete on the balance beam. Kyoko Kakegawa, a junior foreign exchanger student from Japan, has shown good form all-around. South Lakes
The Seahawks' won two-consecutive district championships before being denied the title last season by Madison. The three-time state finalist finished third in the Northern Region behind Lake Braddock and West Springfield. With victories over Herndon, Madison and Marshall already, this may be another winning season. Washington-Lee
Coach Joe D'Emidio expects the Generals to be consistent with last year's third-place finish.
Sophomore Megan Woods, the Generals' only regional qualifier last year, returns with three strong events-bars, beam and vault. With some more work on her floor routine, D'Emidio hopes Woods will be an all-around competitor within the next two weeks.
With her strong tumbling ability, senior Marybeth Brathle does Washington-Lee's best floor routine. Sophomore Judy Dovidow is new to the team and has been an asset in the Generals' victories over Marshall and Yorktown. Yorktown
The Patriots had just two gymnasts last year, so they didn't concentrate on team scoring. Coach Dea Smith, who has led the gymnastics program at Yorktown since its inception in 1969, has four new girls, all of whom are just beginning.
Norah Dabney and Rachel Reeder return to give the team some experience. Dabney, a senior, was a regional qualifier on the balance beam and uneven bars. Reeder, a junior, specializes in vault and beam events. POTOMAC DISTRICT Annandale
The Atoms had a 10-0 season last year but gave a poor showing in the district tournament to miss qualifying for the regional meet.
Coach Bob Lamons doesn't have the depth this year but has two strong all-around performers, one of which is out with an injury. Lamons will also coach the Jefferson team because of the lack of coaches in the district.
Sophomore Laurie Snoots is a strong all-around performer, expecially in the floor exercise. Senior Renee Sorber, injured with a broken hand until January 1, will also contribute as an all-around gymnast. Chantilly
The defending district championship team is looking strong, despite having a young, inexperienced squad. With three seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and 10 freshman, Coach Kathy Naughton has some depth.
Seniors Blake Ford and Jeanine Perron lead the Chargers in the all-around category. Ford qualified for last year's state meet in the uneven bars. Fairfax
The Rebels have several good all-around performers. Missy Dyer leads the all-around squad with club experience. Seniors Lisa Walker and Dorothea Ku also add to the teams's all-around strength.
With 15 girls, coaches Ray Steckman and Karen Kowalski have some depth. With Ku out with a knee injury, Fairfax may have a weak link in all-around competition.
Because of a lack of coaches in the district, Steckman and Kowalski have also taken on the coaching responsibilities for Falls Church. Falls Church
The Jaguars are traveling to Fairfax every day as their coaches, Ray Steckman and Karen Kowalski, also run the gymnastics program there. Falls Church has just two top returners and a few beginning gymnasts but it may surprise some people with a potential state qualifier.
Jenny Kinzli, a transfer student from Colorado, was a western regional qualifier last year and is expected to do well in all-around competition. Jefferson
Of the Colonials seven gymnasts, three are injured, threatening the first part of the season. Top returner Lydia Montague is expected to be out much of the season because of injuries received in a car accident.
Mo Peet, a sophomore, will take on the top all-around spot as Coach Bob Lamons, who is also coaching the Annandale team, hopes for a good district finish. GUNSTON DISTRICT Edison
With a young team, the Eagles may struggle to defend their district title, especially against Lee. But Coach Lynn Crescent has two top returners for her first coaching season at Edison.
Cathy Gross was a top all-around last year. The sophomore is strong again but an injured ankle may limit her in competition. Mount Vernon
The Majors travel to Lee to practice with Coach Deirdra Reynolds. Regina Olerich leads the six-member squad as the only senior and the only all-around gymnast.
Coming off a fourth-place district finish, the Majors may have a poor team showing since they do not have enough gymnasts to have the required three compete in every event. Lee
The Lancers' Andrea Banta leads the all-around performers as Coach Deirdra Reynolds tries to lead her 17-member team in dethroning Edison. Reynolds is also running the Mount Vernon program.
Junior Donna McCoy and sophomore Sherri Mitchell are good all-around prospects as the district runners-up aim to reach the regional meet again.
Last year's district race with Edison was a close one-Edison won by a few tenths of a point-and promises to be close again. West Potomac
The Wolverines finished third in the district last year and are expecting to do the same this season with a handful of seniors and nine other girls. Senior Karin Wagner returning on bars and vault after a broken wrist kept her out of the regional meet last season.
Senior Kim Hagerstrom and Jenny Pye will specialize in their best events and are looking very good.