Even on a bad day Hillcrest High stands above the rest.
The Huskies struggled through the high school state gymnastics meet Friday, held in their own gym before their biggest crowd ever. Their top gun, Kim Clark, had a dismal showing, at least by her standards. The Huskies had miscues on almost every event.But what would be devastating to any other squad was merely a small obstacle en route to winning their second consecutive state championship.
No, the Huskies didn't come near their record score of 186.0, set in the Region 2 meet. But it didn't matter, as they coasted through the competition, outscoring second-place Alta 184.5 to 179.1. Brighton was third with 175.5 points and West Jordan fourth at 175.15. Judge was the top 3A school, placing seventh.
Hillcrest's dominance was expected. But to this degree? The Husky team won every event, placed five gymnasts in the top all-around and qualified five competitors in the floor and bars competitions and four in the beam and vault for the individual championships, scheduled today at 7 p.m. And this was on a bad day.
"We had a bad meet, we had falls we've never had. But we've had so many good meets maybe it was time," said Hillcrest Coach Mechele Bosco. "We've never had a crowd this big before; maybe they were thinking about that. Everyone has put in a lot of time and effort. I knew we were at a higher level, I just didn't know how much higher."
The jinx of the all-around still exists. No 4A gymnast has ever repeated as the all-around titlist in the history of the state meet. It didn't happen this year as defending champion Kim Clark of Hillcrest struggled, falling on the floor where she still garnered a 9.15 and on the beam, where she could only manage a 8.55. She finished with a 36.75 all-around score, far from first place. But the junior did manage to gain the highest vault score, a 9.60 on a half-full twist.
The all-around title went to Brighton gymnast Temple Humpherys. On a day where falls and bobbles were the norm the junior showed consistency. Humpherys posted scores of 9.7 on the floor, 9.6 on the beam, 9.65 on the bars and 9.55 on the vault. Her scores on the bars, beam and floor were the highest given in those events.
Hillcrest gymnasts were still among the top all-arounders. Jane Greenwood, Heidi Granere and Janica Hayes finished among the top four. (Places have not been decided due to a tie. Official results will be announced today after judges confer.) Greenwood, winner of the Region 2 all-around competition, put together a solid, if not surprising performance for one of her highest marks, a 37.20.
"I think it's great; she's probably worked the hardest," Bosco said of the senior. "We didn't know if she was going to shine, but she has put in a lot of extra time."
The individual championships will be decided this evening with the top 20 competitors qualifying for each event. West Jordan's Tiffany Jones, only a freshman posted the top score on the floor with a 9.65. Humpherys stands in first on both the beam and bars while three gymnasts - Clark and Hayes of Hillcrest and Gaylene Thaxton of Alta - are tied for the lead in vault.