Pomona makes history with fifth straight team state title

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 11/12/19

THORNTON — Pomona gymnastics flipped, twisted and vaulted its way into the history books Nov. 7 at Thornton High School. The Panthers claimed their fifth straight Class 5A gymnastics team state …

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Pomona makes history with fifth straight team state title

Posted

THORNTON — Pomona gymnastics flipped, twisted and vaulted its way into the history books Nov. 7 at Thornton High School.

The Panthers claimed their fifth straight Class 5A gymnastics team state title scoring 188.550 points. Overland finished second for the fourth straight year with 187.525 points.

Pomona becomes the first gymnastics program in the state to win five team state titles in a row in the largest classification.

“Every year is so different and so special,” Pomona coach Tracey Boychuk said moments after the Panthers were handed their fifth straight 5A team trophy. “The no quit in these girls was amazing. We had so many injuries, pneumonia and so much to fight through this year. These girls we not going to let themselves be disappointed walking out of here tonight.”

Kylie Berens, Mia Tims and Kalise Newson spearheaded the impressive night by the Panthers. Berens claimed her second 5A individual all-around title over the past three years, Tims was the runner-up in the all-around and Newson finished fifth.

Pomona had a narrow one-point lead over Overland heading into the final rotation. The Panthers were solid on the floor with Berens and Tims both finishing in the top-7 to hold off the Trailblazers.

“We all know how to pull together when it’s needed,” Berens said.

It was a bounce back state meet for Berens, a senior at Wheat Ridge High School. She wasn’t able to defend her all-around title she claimed as a sophomore because of injury.

“I had a lot better of a year,” Berens said looking back at her injury-plagued junior season. “I took precautions to not have those same injuries. For my senior year to come out 100 percent healthy and do everything to help the team.”

Berens was rock solid during the first night of the three-day meet. She had the top scores on the vault and beam, along with placing third on the floor and second on the bars.

“I love doing gymnastics so much,” Berens said. “I just so much fun being out here. Doing it for the team and yourself, it’s unbelievable.”

Boychuk was the last to talk to Berens before she took to the floor for her final event on Thursday night.

“I told her (Berens) to just go out there and have fun,” Boychuk said. “It’s her last high school meet. It’s not hard for her to have fun at all.”

Berens wasn’t too concerned with winning the all-around title again. Her main focus was that fifth team title.

“We had a lot of seniors with 10, so we had a lot of leaders,” Berens said. “I think I did have to step in and help bring the team up. When the year started no one thought this would be possible. I tried really hard to bring hope in everyone. To light a fire to let them know we could do it again.”

Boychuk said Berens winning the all-around title was the “icing on the cake”. Pomona gymnasts — Kelsey Boychuk (2014 and 2015), Brooke Weins (2016) and Berens (2017 and 2019) — have won the 5A all-around title five of the last six years. Lakewood’s Amber Boll claimed the all-around in 2018.

On the 4A side, Green Mountain had an outstanding meet finishing second in the team all-around on Nov. 8. Sarah Hitchcock (vault) and Lucy Meinert (beam) also won individual event titles on the final day of the meet on Nov. 9.

Jeffco squads were able to sweep the individual bars events Saturday. Standley Lake’s Mya Nguyen won the 4A bars and Lakewood’s Isabella Gee claimed the 5A bars.

Dennis Pleuss is a media specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com.

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