Lake Highlands has the lead after the first day of compulsories Thursday at the state gymnastics meet in Alvin.
LH leads San Angelo Central in the girls’ team standings by .25 after compulsories, in which each girl performs the same routine). On Friday, the gymnasts compete in optionals, which includes flips, twists and personal routines. LH generally scores better in optionals, but has fewer gymnasts than San Angelo Central, which gives Central the ability to drop low scores. Central has won the last four state titles.
Team Standings after Day 1:
1. Lake Highlands 116.800
2. San Angelo Central 116.550
3. A&M Consolidated 115.00
4. L.D. Bell 114.750
6. Round Rock 114.725
7. Keller 114.550
8. South Garland 114.375
9. Rockwall-Heath 114.150
LH senior Sarie Morrison, the two-time defending All-Around state champion, is in second place after compulsories. Morrison trails San Angelo Central’s Chaney Collins by .15, but Morrison typically trails after compulsories then quickly makes up ground in optionals.
LH has three girls in the top seven all-around competitors going into Friday’s optionals: Morrison, Hannah Van Meter and Kristen DeCosta.
All-Around Standings after Day 1:
1. Chaney Collins, San Angelo Central 39.425
2. Sarie Morrison, Lake Highlands 39.275
3. Margaret Mayfield, South Garland 39.100
4. Maile Kendrick, Arlington Martin 38.975
5. Hannah Van Meter, Lake Highlands 38.875
T-7th Kristen DeCosta, Lake Highlands 38.650
As for Julia Hansen, San Angelo Central’s elite gymnast from Germany, she fell on the beam and scored an 8.3 in the event. The fall did not affect Central’s team score, but it did take her out of all-around contention.
But as a sign of the controversial nature of Hansen’s appearance at the state meet, officials have ruled that if Hansen qualifies in one of Saturday’s individual events, 11 girls will qualify to compete in that event – one more than normal. Hansen competed in the European championships and would have been on the German Olympic team if she had met the age requirement. The ruling ensures that 10 "normal" competitors will get to compete in every event.