Berlin Gymnastics clenches runner-up State title

Photo Courtesy: Jen Hedrick

Photo Courtesy: Jen Hedrick

Nina Krupar

   On March 3, the gymnastics team took on the State Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. Prior to the competition the Bears were undefeated against every team they had battled throughout the season. The team took home the OCC title and two weeks later broke their record again to take a hold of the District’s title as well. 

   As they headed into the competition they were ranked right with Brecksville High School which had been the 19 consecutive state champions. The girls went in with dominance and held their hopes to be top three in the state. 

   They first tackled the beam in their rotation of the four events. The girls gathered together and brought a lot of energy to their first event and walked away with only a few falls. Alex Downing took the second-highest score on beam with a 9.475. Downing was behind Tayten Swain who scored a 9.675 which broke the meet record for the first time in several years. They walked away with heads high with a score of 36.225 and were ready to power through their next event. 

   The girls showed out on the floor as their second rotation of the night and gave it their all.

The girls took all 9’s on the event which helped them secure the highest floor score of the night with a 37.950. Their lineup brought grace, power, and confidence which helped them lead over Brecksville. Swain took the highest floor score of the night with a 9.775 which contributed to the domination of the event. 

  With two rotations left the team rallied together with their aspirations well in sight. Their third rotation of the vault proved to be a strong suit for them. Their lineup of flippers brought home a variety of nines. Kylie Hedrick, Tia Estrada, Stephanie Balthaser, and Tayten Swain all grabbed nines. This totaled an event score of 37.050 which was the second highest of the meet.

   The Bears’ final rotation of the night was the uneven bars. Headed into this final event the girls stood at first for the entire meet. The tension felt high on the team but each girl proved to have vigor as they faced their last routine of the night. Downing hit her best bar routine of the year and scored a 9.425 which broke the Berlin school record on this event. Kayln Davis also pulled together a clean and dynamic routine which scored an 8.875 and contributed to the team score. The girls walked away heads high with an event score of 36.825 which was higher than Brecksville’s 36.750.  

   The Bears clutched second place out of 12 teams. This is the best that the program has done since the high school opened in 2018. The team succeeded in their goal of top three in the state and now heads into the postseason where they will determine what comes for next year.