Betsy Erickson said she faltered a little while concluding her routine in the floor exercises, but the 15-year-old still placed first in the compulsory all-around today at the Maryland Class 1 women's gymnastics championships.

Erickson (37.5) and second-place teammate Michelle Sessions (36.75) put the Docksiders into second place behind the defending state champions MG's.

"I just hope I stick everything (today in the optionals)," said Erickson, a sophomore at Annapolis High School. "I hope I stay on." Erickson had no trouble staying on the balance beam, winning in 9.5. She also placed first in the vault and third in the uneven bars.

The state championship meet is the first step in qualifying for the nationals. A gymnast must qualify for the state championships with a 64 all-around score. A score of 67.2 this weekend is needed to qualify for the regionals April 16-17. Optional competition begins Sunday at 11.

Defending state all-around champion Racine Smith of the Royal T's finished fifth in the cumpulsories.

Smith, who is 5 feet 8, was mildly shaken up during her first event, the uneven bars, which tipped slightly during her routine. "I said, 'Oh no, is this happening to me?' " Smith said. "I couldn't believe it."

Smith, recovering from a pulled hamstring, said last year she was behind by a half-point going into the optional exercises. "I just hit all my routines."