In the vault competition, gymnasts have two opportunities. During the individual apparatus finals for 4A and 5A at Thornton High School on Saturday, Alexis Carroll wouldn't have that luxury.
On Carroll's second run-through, the Niwot senior accelerated too quickly. She ended up having to pull to the side before her attempt.
But guess what? It didn't even matter. Carroll's first vault was so outstanding that she was able to secure the 4A state championship with a point total of 9.600.
"On my second vault I just ran too hard and kind of smashed into the table. There's a reason we get two," she said with a laugh.
"It was one vault and it was good enough for her to be at the top," Niwot coach Marisa Purcell added. "She deserves it. She's worked hard to get where she is and the vault is her main thing. I'm very proud of her."
A day after Carroll faced some adversity during the team and all-around competition, which included a fall on the floor exercise, the senior got her emotions back in order. As difficult as it is to place a challenging routine in the past, gymnasts know attention has to be placed on the next moment.
Carroll refocused and placed fourth in prelims of the vault while tallying a 9.425. Green Mountain's Mya Sinha was first in prelims and looked every bit the favorite in finals after posting a 9.550 in both rounds. But Carroll had the final say.
Her previous highest finish in an individual final was fourth in the vault her sophomore year.
"For her to be able to work this hard and not have the best meet of her life yesterday, but to be able to make finals in vault and to be able to come back and do that it sums up what it is," Purcell said. "It's all about fighting. She gets to walk away a vault champ."
Niwot had several others finish in the top 8 on Saturday, earning their place on the podium. Aleigh Trimble, still dealing with a rib injury suffered Wednesday, was outstanding in the balance beam with a bronze (9.400). Amelia Sears (9.325) was sixth in the beam, while Lindsay Chohon (8.650) was eighth in the uneven bars. Lilliana Martin (8.900) placed seventh in the floor exercise. Chohon (fifth) and Sears (seventh) also earned podium spots in the vault.
In the 5A finals, Broomfield junior Abby Holbrook stood out. Holbrook claimed bronze in the balance beam (9.525). She was also fourth in the uneven bars (9.675). Her performances were bookended as she went first on beam and last on bars. After placing 10th in prelims with a score of 9.450, she drastically improved her standing.
"Yesterday I didn't even know if I was going to make beam finals, so to come and get fourth was amazing," she said.
Nicki Verheyen (9.525) was also eighth for Broomfield in the vault.
The Legacy tandem of Abby Crosier (fifth in beam) and Natalie Prestwich (eighth in floor), wearing the colors of Mountain Range, closed their senior years in style.