THORNTON — Chancey Hines knew that her team could’ve done better. The first-year Evergreen head coach had that look about her in the aftermath of the 4A state gymnastics team competition Nov. 1 at Thornton High School.
“It wasn’t the best of days for us. We had a lot of mistakes starting from floor and all the way through bars. It was just hard to regain our confidence,” Hines said after Evergreen, despite scoring a season-best 176 points, placed third in this year’s competition.
Last year’s state runner-up and 2011 state champions finished behind Thompson Valley, which won the 2013 title with 179.275 points, and Elizabeth, which scored 178.25 points.
“The girls were a little frazzled because they fell on the floor, and we usually do really great on floor and vault.”
The rotation — Evergreen started on the floor exercise and then went to the vault, beam and uneven bars — was thought to benefit the Lady Cougars, but it didn’t work out that way. Evergreen had its best scores in the second half, but it was an up-and-down meet for the Lady Cougars.
“We just didn’t have it today. The girls were nervous. We had one fall after another,” Hines said.
Evergreen had a meet-best score on the bars of 44.075, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap after distant third-place finishes on the floor (43.625) and vault (43.35). The Lady Cougars took second on the balance beam with a (44.075).
The pressure of state, especially dealing with perennial rival Elizabeth and fast-rising Thompson Valley, certainly didn’t help matters.
“Oh yeah, I definitely think so,” sophomore Callie Cohen said of the pressure of state affecting her team. Cohen placed fourth in the all-around with 36.5 points.
“We put so much pressure on ourselves that I think it showed. Everybody, I think, had at least one good moment; everybody had one moment that they wish that didn’t happen.” Individually, Evergreen’s best event may have been the balance beam after three girls — Cohen, Erika Kissler and Anne Lauder — finished in the top six. Cohen won with a score of 9.6, Kissler was fourth with a 9.15, and Lauder took sixth with a 9.1.
Cohen finished second on the bars (9.225) and third on the floor exercise (9.425), Kissler took fourth on the vault (9.1) and sixth on the bars (8.725).
While state may not have been the best, there were a lot of positives for Evergreen this season, Hines said. The Lady Cougars started the season scoring in the 150s, but by the time they had won a regional title, they were up to 174 points, and they topped that at state.
“I think we just learned that we did the best that we could. Whatever happens, happens,” said Kissler, who took sixth in the all-around. “We can’t focus on the past. We just have to keep moving forward. We can’t change it.”
“We worked really hard to get here. I’m not disappointed in them at all,” Hines said. “We could’ve done better, but gymnastics is a hard sport. You can either hit or miss it. One second can ruin the whole routine for you. I think the girls did really great.”
Contact Michael Hicks at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.