THORNTON — Pomona gymnastics won its third-straight state title on Thursday.
"It's amazing. It really is amazing," Pomona coach Tracey Boychuk said after the meet. "I couldn't be prouder to be a Pomona Panther. Our school is so behind us. They were really rooting for us."
Pomona beat Overland by 0.025 points in the Class 5A state gymnastics meet. The Panthers saw their lead fall away going into the last event, but they came up when they needed it most on the uneven bars.
"I'm so proud of this team for everything that we've done," the Panthers' Kaylie Berens said. "We had to fight to get back, but we pulled it together."
Pomona also claimed the all-around title as Berens (38.8) edged out Arvada West's Shaye Mathais (38.675).
"I was not expecting this by any means," Berens said. "I was more worried about the team, but it's an amazing feeling. I'm proud of myself. It's been one of my best meets."
As the events went on, it became clear that the team race would come down to two teams: Pomona and Overland.
Pomona held a slim lead over Overland and Thornton after one rotation. The Panthers turned in a score of 46.90 on the floor, while Overland followed with 46.50 on beam and Thornton posted a 46.35 on vault.
"Stay positive. You have to keep being in it," Berens said. "We tried really hard not to worry about what everyone else was doing. We knew that if we did our best, we would come out on top."
Pomona's 47.825 on vault saw the Panthers begin to find some distance in the team race. Overland stayed close with a score of 46.50 on bars, while Thornton fell off with a 46 on beam.
Overland knew it had to put something together with its best two events coming up. The Trailblazers responded with a 47.75 on floor.
Pomona's beam score of 45.575 put them down by 0.45 heading to the last rotation.
The Panther's Kelsey Boychuk did not have her score counted on the balance beam because of a rule violation, which put Overland in first place for a moment.
"Her score did not count because of the time it took for her to recover from an injury," CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bert Borgmann said. "The time exceeded the allotted time allowed for her to remount and complete her routine."
Pomona came up with the performance it needed on the uneven bars. Pomona finished with a 47.775 on the bars, while Overland was unable to make up the ground with a 47.30 on vault.
"We wanted to really focus on ourselves and us as a team," Tracey Boychuk said. "Do what we know the girls can do. Focus on what they're doing and not worry what everyone else was doing."
The Panthers finished with 188.075 points to win their third-straight title. Overland finished with 188.05 — good for a runner-up finish.
"So many people told me that we lost," Berens said after the meet. "I was so expecting them to call Pomona as second. But, they called Overland (as the second place finisher) and it was insane, I couldn't even believe it. I'm on top of the world right now."
Thornton, Broomfield and Lakewood rounded out the top five.