NIWOT -- Melanie Stelling is not the type of gymnast to score a routine before the landing is stuck. But Wednesday night, it was becoming hard for the Broomfield junior to contain her excitement.
The Eagles came up with another convincing win, wrapping up their regular-season schedule by knocking off Niwot 183.95-178.85. But overcoming the surging Cougars on their home turf was far from the only reason Stelling was all smiles. There was also a little matter of her team's score.
The Eagles are one of three teams in Class 5A to have broken the 180-point mark this season. And from Stelling's perspective that could only be the start for her team.
"We're striving for 185 this year," she said. "We've still got a ways to go, but we're happy with the progress we've made."
There were other reasons Broomfield was flipping over Wednesday night's performance, Stelling in particular. The junior earned her team's only individual win of the evening with a 9.55 performance on the balance beam. But it was not just her score that had Stelling stoked after her routine; it was the rest of her team making easy work of a piece of equipment known to give gymnast fits.
"We hit six-for-six routines tonight (without falling)," she said. "I'm really proud of my team. We just keep pushing through."
The focus the Eagles showed Wednesday also pleased Erika Taga, especially considering the Broomfield coach did not consider the dual a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination.
"I thought it could be the one meet of the year where things didn't come together. I was especially worried because we didn't have a good warm up," Taga said. "But that's what this team is so good at, when competition comes they're ready."
Niwot came into the evening with guns blazing, with the team's top gymnast in prime form. Kaili Gallegos won two of the four pieces of equipment and captured the all-around title. She had Eagles hot on her heels in the all-around, with Kailey Licata just three-tenths of a point off and Gabby Maiden six-tenths back.
Even with a strong performance, Gallegos was most impressed with her win on the vault. And the senior is certain it's where she has the best potential to score big come state.
"It's my strongest event, it always has been," said Gallegos, who scored a 9.6 on the vault. "But I feel like I'm also coming on in by bars routine and on floor."
Gallegos performance was not enough to deliver her team the win, but despite getting edged Mallorie Lang was buoyed by the Cougars' night. The Niwot coach has been impressed with the recent strides her team has made and believes it is adding up to a big finish.
"We started a little slow at the
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Broomfield 183.95, Niwot 178.85
At Niwot HS
All-around -- 1. Kaili Gallego, Niwot, 37.9; 2. Kailey Licata, Broomfield, 37.6; 3. Gabby Maiden, Broomfield, 37.3; 4. Austin Fankhouser, Niwot, 36.55; 5. Alie Koldeway, Niwot, 33.5.;\
Vault -- 1. Kaili Gallegos, Niwot, 9.6; 2. Monique Martinez, Broomfield, 9.5; 3. Gabby Maiden, Broomfield, 9.4; 4. Kailey Licata, Broomfield, 9.3; 5. Maggie Boyer, Broomfield, 9.2.
Uneven bars -- 1. Austin Fankhouser, Niwot, 9.55; 2. Kailey Licata, Broomfield, 9.5; 3. Kaili Gallegos, Niwot, 9.25; 4. Gabby Maiden, Broomfield, 8.85; 5. Ila Katechis, Niwot, 8.8.
Floor -- 1. Kaili Gallegos, Niwot, 9.65; 2. Ila Katechis, Niwot, 9.55; 3. Gabby Maiden, Broomfield, 9.55; 4. Kailey Licata, Broomfield, 9.5; 5. Melanie Stelling, Broomfield, 9.4.
Beam -- 1. Melanie Stelling, Broomfield, 9.55; 2. Gabby Maiden, Broomield, 9.5; 3. Ila Katchis, Niwot, 9.45; 4. Maggie Boyer, Broomfield, 9.4; 5. Kaili Gallegos, Niwot, 9.4.