Gymnasts are notoriously perfectionist and hardworking. Evergreen head gymnastics coach Marnie Bello is no exception.
Bello coached her team to the 4A state championship with a school-record 182 points in 2011, knocking off two-time defending champion Elizabeth in the process. The Lady Cougars did so by taking first-place in the vault and uneven bars. It was the school’s second state title since 2008.
But winning state is an accomplishment that seems a bit more gratifying considering Bello gave birth to her first child, son Lucas, on Oct. 26, just 10 days before the state finals.
With her newborn baby in tow, Bello coached with the same veracity as she would any other day, handling her team’s needs and her own sleep deprivation like it was just another day at the office. That said, Bello has been named the 2011-12 Canyon Courier Coach of the Year.
“I was really confident in the girls. We had put in about 30-40 hours of training the week before. So they were all really calm and ready,” Bello said. “We knew that we had done everything we could to prepare so our focus was to go out there and do our best and just have fun.”
Bello’s confidence in her team came, in part, from knowing that she had 13 seniors on team team — all of whom had plenty of experience competing. That experience included winning the Jeffco League championship against both 4A and 5A schools.
One of those seniors was Ashley Perry, who won the school’s first all-around title after overcoming an ACL injury two years prior. Those seniors have become a regular part of Bello’s life over the last five years.
But now that her first group of girls that she coached since their freshman year has graduated, Bello knows that while it may be bittersweet, there is a new crop of talented young ladies looking to her for guidance.
“We started work this past week and this is going to be a building year,” Bello said.
Only time will tell how well they will do, but there’s no doubt they were at the top of their game in 2011.
2010-11: Peter Jeans, Evergreen, boys soccer
OTHERS WORTH MENTIONING
Rob Molholm, Football
— Cougars went 9-2, won the 3A Metro South title and went to the playoffs for a second straight year.
Peter Jeans, Soccer
— Evergreen’s boys team went 17-3, won the 4A Jeffco League title and reached the state finals. The girls team also went to the playoffs.
Jeanne Godaire, Girls swimming
— Evergreen placed second in the 4A girls swimming state meet. Team won multiple state individual titles.