After a long stretch of just merely missing the trophy, the Thompson Valley gymnastics team captured its first state title in 26 years last season.
The feat was led by individual champion and gymnast of the year Alyssa Carroll and top-ten finisher Savannah Carlson, who helped the Eagles to a team total of 179.28 points to claim Class 4A. It was Thompson Valley's second state gymnastics title, and first since winning AAA in 1987.
Both Carroll and Carlson will return for their senior season this fall.
A trophy was not the only thing that was new to the Eagles last year. Carroll competed for her first time in three and a half years, after suffering a debilitating back injury. The comeback included four individual medals and a gold on floor on the last day of the state championships.
The Thompson Valley athletic department has made some big changes in the coaching staff across the board. A new boys lacrosse, boys and girls golf, and girls gymnastics coach will take the stage in late August.
Former gymnastics coach Jana Madere retired on a high note and left Jaia Sattler to fill her shoes. Sattler, a former assistant coach at Loveland, coached against her new squad in the past. But she has also worked with some of her future gymnasts at Windsor Gymnastics Academy.
"Sattler comes to Thompson highly recommended with an unparalleled excitement to coach," Thompson Valley athletic director Ernie Derrera said.
Though winning is now fresh on the minds of players and parents, a repeat success after ending the drought from 1987 isn't the priority for Sattler.
"I want to improve these girls," said the 24-year-old Rocky Mountain graduate.
The Eagles will begin their season on August 21.
Class 4A gymnastics
Defending individual champion: Alyssa Carroll, Thompson Valley
Defending team champion: Thompson Valley
Returning All-state athletes: Alyssa Carroll, Sr., Thompson Valley; Callie Cohen, Sr., Evergreen, Emily Reynolds, Sr., Elizabeth
Regular season begins: August 21
Regionals: October 25
State meet: Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Thornton High School