After capturing 10 medals in the individual and all-around competitions in the Virginia Northern Region girls gymnastics championships Friday, it was no surprise that the seven-member team from South Lakes High School was able to win its second consecutive team title yesterday at Centreville High School.
The team of Keri Wein, Jen Chu, Jill Cramer, Catherine Harris, Becky Hayter, Beth Kubovcik and Jennifer McCormick totaled 107.5 points to defeat West Springfield (106.85) and Thomas Jefferson (105.8).
If there were any surprises in the team competition, it was that Chantilly, with Arousha Youssefi, finished in fourth place (102.95).
"You have to remember," said West Springfield Coach Gerry Royals, "that Chantilly is always in the running with Arousha. She's in a class by herself. But I'm pleased with how my team did. We stuck all four beam routines. We haven't done that in three years."
To Hayter, a senior at South Lakes who finished second in Friday's all-around competition, the team competition was much more stressful than her individual efforts. "You don't feel as bad when you mess up in the individual events," said Hayter, "But tonight I wasn't doing it just for myself."
Hayter said she and her teammates tried to remain relatively calm and focused throughout the meet, taking one event at a time and trying not to concentrate on others' scores. "We try not to notice who's ahead," said Hayter, "That adds too much pressure."
Hayter, who wasn't pleased with her uneven bars routine in the individual competition, was happy with the 9.45 she earned last night. "I felt better tonight," she said. "I think it's because I competed two nights in a row. Even though tonight was more pressured, I was more confident and felt stronger."
While some competitors chose to execute pixie-like maneuvers in their floor exercise routines, it was Youssefi's graceful and sophisticated style that drew the most applause.
Youssefi turned in a 9.65 score in the floor exercise, which she considers her best event. It was the highest score in the team competition. It was not, however, enough to lift her team higher than fourth.
West Springfield, which dominated the uneven bars with a combined score of 34.6, led going into the fourth and final rotation. TEAM RESULTS
South Lakes, 107.5; West Springfield, 106.85; Thomas Jefferson, 105.8; Chantilly, 102.95; Fairfax, 98.20; Centreville, 97.55; Hayfield, 88.95; Annandale, 84.95.