THORNTON — It was quite an eventful Thursday for Broomfield senior Abby Holbrook at the Class 5A state gymnastics meet at Thornton High School.
It started with near tragedy on her very first vault — one where she nearly flew over the apparatus, hit her head and then landed awkwardly — and concluded with a tough go on the uneven bars.
But in between was a Holbrook staple — the beam.
It's been something she, her sister Sarah before her and her mother Denise before them all have taken pride in. It showed with a near flawless routine that earned her a solid 9.775 and a shot at the finals on Saturday night.
"The beam is always one of my favorite events, and as long as I have that on Saturday, that's all that matters," said Abby, who watched Sarah win a beam title in 2014. "We've always just loved it and been good at it."
Arguably the most difficult of all the disciplines on the high school level, Holbrook made it look easy as did sophomore teammate Melanie Roberts, who went right before her and scored a 9.6 to qualify for Saturday night.
"You always want girls in finals and I'm glad they did well," said first-year Broomfield coach Whitney Parzybok, who has been with the program for eight years.
"(The Holbrooks) are just good beam workers. The have completely opposite routines, but it is just their passion ... they have that beam magic."
One year after qualifying for both the beam and bars finals, Holbrook looked like she was well on her way to repeating that; but a costly slip near the end of what had been a flawless routine cost her the chance. She scored a 9.075.
"I wanted to end on a better note, but I did what I did," Abby said. "I'm just glad I got that second vault in.
"And when it comes down to it, I have to focus on what I did this whole year and not this one meet."
In addition to Holbrook and Roberts coming back to Saturday's finals on the beam, senior Abbi Edgerly scored a 9.45 on the floor exercise and will have a chance to place for the second straight year.
Nicole Remund will have a chance to compete in three individual apparatus finals, qualifying for the floor (9.375), bars (9.3) and beam (9.3).
Team wise, the Eagles knew it was going to take a nearly flawless effort to bring home any sort of hardware against 5A powerhouse programs from Pomona and Overland. The Eagles final team score was 183.5 and good enough for a fourth place finish behind the Panthers (188.075) by .025, Trailblazers (188.050) and Thornton (184.125).
"We told the girls going into today that we don't care about our team score and we don't care about other teams, we just care us and our performance," Parzybok said. We did a pretty good job of that and I'm really happy with their effort."
CLASS 5A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Thornton H.S.
Team scores — Pomona 188.075, Overland 188.05, Thornton 184.125, Broomfield 183.5, Lakewood 182.575, Arvada West 181.85, Ponderosa 179.05, Cherry Creek 176.475, Chatfield 173.925, Palmer Ridge 169.825.
All-around — 1Kaylie Berens, Pomona, 38.8; Shaye Mathais, Arvada West, 38.675; Amber Boll, Lakewood, 38.475 (38.463); Kalise Newsom, Pomona, 38.475 (38.450); Ana George, Cherry Creek, 38.175; Katherine Compton, Ponderosa, 37.975; Melia Beccard, Fort Collins, 37.75; Samantha DeMoss, Overland, 37.725.
LOCAL INDIVIDUALS WHO QUALIFIED FOR APPARATUS FINALS
Balance beam — 1. Abby Holbrook, Broomfield, 9.775; 4. Melanie Roberts, Broomfield, 9.6; 14. Nicole Remund, Broomfield, 9.3
Uneven bars — 13. Nicole Remund, Broomfield, 9.3
Floor exercise — 8. Abby Edgerly, Broomfield, 9.45, 14. Nicole Remund, Broomfield, 9.375