THORNTON — The state gymnastics meet belonged to Jeffco in 2016.
The three-day meet wrapped up Saturday night with Jeffco teams grabbing five of eight individual event final titles.
“I think we have really stayed strong as gymnastics programs in Jeffco,” Pomona coach Tracey Boychuk said at the conclusion of the meet at Thornton High School “The Jeffco coaches are unlike any other group of coaches. We are very close and we support each other’s girls. Our programs are big and they are strong.”
The five individual event titles added on to the haul of team titles won by Pomona (Class 5A) and Green Mountain (Class 4A), along with all-around titles claimed by Pomona sophomore Brooke Weins (5A) and Standley Lake junior Rachel Cody (4A) on Thursday and Friday.
“I think it says a lot about Jeffco in general,” said Cody, who finished top four in the 4A vault, beam and floor Saturday night. “It’s awesome to say I was in Jeffco during this time when it was so strong.”
Green Mountain moved down a classification this year and cruised to the 4A team title. Camille Dipaola, Emily Graham, Mya Sinha, Hayley Upson and Morgan Maddox all finished in the top eight for the Rams in the individual all-around. It was the first team title for Green Mountain since 2008. Cody was able to defend her all-around title edging the pack of Rams right behind her.
Dipaola (floor) and Graham (bars) both took home more hardware winning individual events Saturday. Sinha and Maddox had strong second- and third-place finish in the vault.
Dipaola said one of the reasons why Jeffco gymnastics is so strong right now are the club gyms in the area, but she likes the dedication she has seen during the high school season.
“It’s kind of nice to see all the girls come together in a high school setting,” Dipaola said. “We are team orientated. It’s awesome to watch them.”
Sandi Patterson, along with her assistant coach and husband Dan Patterson, coached Green Mountain’s gymnastics team one last time Saturday. The two are stepping down to support their three sons and their activities.
“It’s definitely hard to walk away, but you don’t get that time back with your kids,” said Patterson, who coached the Rams for 20 years. “Someday, hopefully, we’ll be back.”
Pomona was able to go back-to-back by repeating as the 5A team champions Thursday. Weins captured the individual all-around title for the Panthers. Last year, Weins finished second to teammate Kelsey Boychuk, who won back-to-back all-around titles in 2014 and 2015.
While Boychuk fell short of the three-peat, she was happy Weins was able to keep the individual all-around title in the Pomona family.
“I’m not disappointed,” Boychuk said after defending her title in the individual vault final Saturday night. “Brooke earned it. She works just as hard as anyone else. She earned it.”
Weins added the individual beam title to her resume edging Lakewood’s Amber Boll. The Tigers’ top gymnast had an outstanding meet winning the bars with a graceful routine Saturday tonight after placing second in the 5A all-around Thursday.
“The team support really helps when you have a good team you are able to bond with them,” Weins said. “When you are about to preform and your whole team is cheering for you it makes it easier.”
With Pomona and Green Mountain both winning team titles, it was the first time Jeffco has been able to do that since 2008 when Green Mountain won the 5A and Evergreen took the 4A title.
“It’s being lacking the last few years, at least our dominance in these types of meets. It was really exciting to see Jeffco on top,” Coach Boychuk said. “Sandi and I had talked early in the season that it would be awesome to get Jeffco back on top of the podium in both classifications.”
Pomona senior Annabel Spence was an example of the toughness of gymnasts. According to Coach Boychuk, Spence has a broken bone in her back, but wanted to finish out her final year participating at state despite the pain over the last month.
The Panthers have a shot to win three state team titles next year. It would be the first time a Jeffco team has won a string of multiple team titles since Bear Creek won four straight from 1974 to 1977.
Patterson finished her stint at Green Mountain guiding the Rams to state titles in 2006, 2008 and 2016.
“I think it’s about great people,” Patterson said of the success in Jeffco. “The gymnasts are great. The coaches are awesome. The people support us in the district office. It’s hard not to be successful when you have all of that.”