Washington-Lee senior Sophie Hatcher and other gymnasts have had to deal with the individual state meet being postponed twice due to inclement weather concerns.
Connection file photo
Nine days after winning the all-around championship in the most competitive conference in the region, Washington-Lee gymnast Sophie Hatcher produced an even better score at the 6A North region meet on Feb. 11 and took home another title.
W-L had its team streak of three straight region championships snapped, and the Generals failed to secure a state berth, but head coach Joe D’Emidio acknowledged that night at Lake Braddock Secondary School that his top gymnast was in the midst of something special.
“Sophie was, again, on a roll,” D’Emidio said on Feb. 11 in reference to Hatcher producing all-around scores of 37.625 (conference) and 37.65 (region) during a nine-day span. “She won the all-around at conference and here she is, not missing a beat. We just hope that beat keeps going all the way to states. We’re following her excitement and the team is still excited for her that she’s advancing.”
The VHSL 6A/5A state meet was originally scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 20-21 at Patriot High School. The team competition continued as planned on Friday, Feb. 20, with McLean winning the state championship. However, inclement weather concerns caused the following day’s individual competition to be postponed for a week. As Feb. 28 approached, inclement weather concerns arose once again, leading to another week-long postponement.
As of Tuesday, the individual state meet was scheduled for noon on Saturday, March 7 at Patriot High School.
If there are no more postponements, the VHSL individual state meet will be held nearly one month after Hatcher won the regional all-around title. She has completed in one club meet for the YMCA's Arlington Angels since Feb. 11.
“I don’t think it’s unlucky, really,” Hatcher said of about the two-week delay following her pair of stellar performances. “I had two of the best meets I’ve ever had in a row and I hit all my routines. I’ll just try to do my best for a third time (at states) and see what happens.”
Hatcher said the postponements have been “a little frustrating.”
Yorktown sophomore Juliette Mitrovich qualified for states in three events — beam, bars and floor — but will compete only on beam due to a scheduling conflict with her club team, the Arlington Aerials. Mitrovich has a club meet on the same day as the VHSL meet, so Mitrovich said she will compete on beam because it is the least strenuous on her body.
If the state meet was held on its original date, Mitrovich said she would have been able to compete in all three events. If the meet was held Feb. 28, she would have had a scheduling conflict.
“I don’t think it’s unlucky, really. I had two of the best meets I’ve ever had in a row and I hit all my routines. I’ll just try to do my best for a third time (at states) and see what happens.”
— W-L gymnast Sophie Hatcher
The VHSL announced on Feb. 20 that the individual state meet had been postponed from Feb. 21 to Feb. 28. On Feb. 21, there was heavy snowfall in the area. Days before the Feb. 28 re-scheduled meet, the VHSL announced the competition would be postponed until March 7. When Feb. 28 arrived, however, the weather was deemed safe enough that regional basketball tournament games were played in the area.
“The first weekend it was postponed, I wasn’t very surprised because I knew there was going to be a lot of snow,” Mitrovich wrote in an email. “However, the second weekend I was extremely surprised it was postponed because it didn’t seem like there was a reason for it.”
Mitrovich said she’s hoping to enjoy Saturday’s competition.
“Mainly, I would just like to go to the meet and have fun,” Mitrovich wrote. “However, I would like to redeem myself on beam because in the conference and regional meets, I fell, which is uncharacteristic of me, so it would be nice to show everyone what I can actually do.”