Gymnastics: Broomfield looking to vault back toward top of 5A

Roberts, Jew most eager to get back to state

Brad Cochi/
Broomfield gymnasts Darcy Jew, left, and Melanie Roberts are looking to build on 2018 state championship performances that included top-six finishes on balance beam for each and a top-eight all-around finish for Jew.

BROOMFIELD — The Broomfield gymnastics team placed fifth at state last year, which is a respectable finish for any club.

Well, the Eagles weren’t really thrilled with respectable.

Head coach Whitney Parzybok said the last time Broomfield gymnastics finished as low as fifth at state was her first year with the Eagles in 2010. And while the Broomfield coaches preach that the value of each season lies in the journey and not necessarily the end result, there’s some extra incentive this year for the Eagles to get back into the top three.

In order for that to happen, the Eagles will need big seasons from their leading pair in senior Melanie Roberts and junior Darcy Jew, both of whom should compete in the all-around at state. Those two think they’re ready to take the lead.

“I feel like last year was a little bit more of a growing season but this year, we’ll be really strong,” Roberts said. “We’ve had great summer practices. The girls this year are just so goal-focused and that’s super exciting. My sophomore year, we had some great seniors and it was tough to lose them but I think we’ve built that back up for this season.

“Darcy and I have been working really hard in the offseason to get those skills to bump up our start values or get things just a little bit tighter. It’s nice because Darcy is really good on bars and vault, and I’m stronger on beam and floor, so we have a nice balance there and we both push each other in the gym and when we’re competing.”

Broomfield last won a Class 5A team title in 2012 and it took a strong group of gymnasts like Roberts and Jew pushing one another to reach their individual potentials.

Roberts and Jew said offering each other pointers based on their differing strengths is a big help when one seeks advice from the other in order to improve. Without the advantage of being able to lean on one another, neither would be likely to develop the balance required to score highly in the all-around competition.

Roberts and Jew’s two-headed leadership also provides a welcoming feel to the Eagles, who have athletes on their roster from schools all across the Boulder Valley School District.

“I’m really excited because I think we have a lot of potential,” Jew said. “Our program draws girls from all over the school district so that makes us stronger and it’s also a great way to meet to people. Even though we’re all from different schools, it feels totally natural and we all bond really well. I’m expecting a fun year.”

The Eagles only graduated a handful of seniors from last year’s team, and they were gymnasts who only competed in one or two events. It’s obviously encouraging not to have to replace many spots in the lineup. But the flip-side to that particular coin is having many incoming freshmen and new faces that need to be incorporated into the team, especially in a sport that differs so much dynamically from club to high school.

“We have quite a few returners, especially for varsity,” Parzybok said. “I guess our biggest challenge this year is the team environment because we have 11 new girls so about 50 percent of our team is new members. And competition in high school is always completely different from what they are used to. But I think we’re going to have a strong team and our goal is to win a league championship.”

Each season is more about the journey than the result, but this fall’s journey appears to have a few less obstacles than last year’s and there’s a good chance that shows in the result.