Robinson won the team title and Oakton earned a region berth by finishing runner-up at the Conference 5 gymnastics meet on Feb. 6 at Centreville High School. But when it came to individual dominance, Westfield senior Katie Freix was in a class by herself.
Freix won the all-around championship, finishing with a score of 36.925. No other gymnast in the conference produced a score of 35.
Freix finished first on floor (9.525), vault (9.5) and bars (9.1), and tied for fifth on beam (8.8). She was the only gymnast to score in the 9s on bars.
“I had probably close to my best performances on all my events, except for beam,” Freix said. “… I definitely had my best bar routine. I’ve been having trouble hitting bars recently, so it was really cool to actually hit the bar routine.”
The top four all-around finishers qualify for regionals. Robinson freshman Caroline Burda placed second (34.9), and Herndon freshman Alexa Bradley and Robinson senior Sarah Gross tied for third (34.5).
“I had probably close to my best performances on all my events, except for beam. … I definitely had my best bar routine. I’ve been having trouble hitting bars recently, so it was really cool to actually hit the bar routine.”
--- Westfield senior Katie Freix
The 6A North region meet was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 12, but was postponed due to the threat of inclement weather.
“It would be cool if I could have a meet where I hit everything,” Freix said when asked about her goals or expectations for regionals. “I’ve always had the goal of getting a 38 all-around [score].”
Westfield senior Frankie Barron qualified for regionals on bars and beam. She tied for seventh on bars with a score of 8.425 and placed eighth on beam with a score of 8.55.
The top eight individuals in each event, along with any other gymnastics who score at least a 9, qualify for regionals.
Chantilly freshman Sophie Behrend placed second on floor with a score of 9.1. She also qualified on vault, tying for fifth with a score of 8.7. Sophomore Elise Mazzone placed fourth on beam (8.975) and tied for sixth on floor (8.3). Senior Lucy Klene took sixth on bars (8.45) and sophomore Sara Laiti tied for seventh (8.425).
Robinson captured the team championship. The Rams won, or tied for first, in each of the four events and produced a total score of 135.4. Oakton finished second with a score of 132.575, followed by Westfield (130.575), Chantilly (129.65), Herndon (122.45) and Centreville (105.375).
Robinson won the Concorde District championship in 2012. The six schools became Conference 5 after the VHSL’s six-class realignment prior to the 2013-14 school year.
“They definitely performed very well today,” first-year Robinson head coach Charlotte Edwards said. “They were more consistent than they normally are. … They’re definitely peaking at the right time. Our first couple meets weren’t that successful.”
Burda, a freshman, finished first on beam (9.15), third on bars (8.625), fourth on vault (8.75) and tied for eighth on floor (8.375).
“She is only a freshman and she did a great job,” Edwards said, “but there’s definitely some things we’re going to work on before regionals, so when we look at their score sheets we’ll see if we can make some more adjustments so she can get a couple more points on some event.”
Burda said beam was her best event. She was one of just three gymnasts to score a 9 or better in the event.
“I thought that I did the best I could and I’m really proud of myself,” Burda said between smiles after the meet. “This has been my best meet so far this season.”
Gross placed third on floor (9) and vault (8.85), tied for fifth on beam (8.8) and finished 11th on bars (8).
“She performed very well,” Edwards said. “Even on her [least]-favorite event, balance beam, she had a solid routine, so that was very exciting and I think that made a big difference in her all-around score.”
Robinson freshman Emily Gross placed third on vault (8.85) and tied for sixth on floor (8.4). Junior Bailey Young tied for second on beam with a score of 9.
Oakton advanced to regionals with a runner-up team finish despite having the smallest roster in the conference with just eight healthy competitors.
“We feel that's where we differ from a lot of teams, especially being the smallest squad in our conference,” Oakton head coach Frankie Orbacz wrote in an email. “Everyone has a ton of talent and everyone contributed equally to our fantastic team score. Most other teams have a few standouts that lead the team and sweep the medals, but we really have so much talent in every girl. We are very well-rounded. Standings-wise, four of our eight girls medaled and placed, which means half of our team would have advanced to regions if we hadn't made it as a team. We were so impressed! That's a pretty fantastic showing.”
The state meet is scheduled for Feb. 21-22 at Salem High School in Virginia Beach.
“It’s amazing,” Burda said of winning the Conference 5 championship. “We’ve worked so hard this season. It’s just great to have it all come together.”