THORNTON — The last time a Colorado prep team won four straight gymnastics titles in the highest classification, Gerald Ford was the President of the United States.
That is, until Thursday when Pomona captured state title No. 4 with a splendid veteran group. They outlasted Overland in the point tally, a regular contender, 187.900-186.475.
“I’m so happy for these seniors,” Panther coach Tracey Boychuk said. “It’s been kind of a pressure-filled year. We’ve had some injuries. Kaylie (Berens) was out today. She got hurt during warmups.”
Filling a hole left by Berens, the 2017 all-around champion, would be difficult for any team. But the others stepped up.
“The girls were all in and they were ready,” Boychuk said. “To go six-for-six on beam with no falls, they did an amazing job.”
As did Brooke Weins, runner-up in the all-around competition with a score of 38.525. She capped her career with a trio of top-2 finishes at the state meet, which included a championship in 2016.
For Pomona, the team chase was just as essential as any individual endeavor though.
“These seniors have said from the very beginning that they wanted four and were going to do everything they could to do that,” the proud coach said. “They left it all out there.”
The most recent program to win four state crowns in a row was Bear Creek from 1974-77.
Despite Pomona’s immense talent again with the likes of Weins, Mia Tims (fourth in all-around), and Kalise Newson (top four in three events), the individual all-around winner was from Lakewood: senior Amber Boll.
With first place showings in vault, uneven bars, and balance beam, and a second in floor exercise, Boll had a dominant performance with 39.125 points. She also tallied 39.000 at her regional meet last week.
“I can’t believe that this has actually happened,” Boll said. “It definitely had been a goal of mine.”
In her prep finale, Boll captured her first all-around championship. The Air Force Academy recruit was second as a sophomore and third as a junior.
A breakthrough in floor exercise (9.700) helped secure the title.
“I was really proud of my floor,” Boll said. “It brings a lot of honor. I can’t believe I can represent my school in this way.”
Pomona had a four-year streak of all-around champions entering the season, but Boll became the first Lakewood winner in program history.