WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Burr and Burton cruised to the Vermont High School Gymnastics state title in its first ever season Saturday afternoon at the Green Mountain Training Center in Williston. Bulldog gymnast Ella Tashjian captured the all-around to lead three Burr and Burton competitors in the top ten (including ties).
Saturday’s state meet was certainly out of the ordinary for several reasons: usual host and winner of 13 of the previous 15 titles Essex did not participate in any high school competitions this year, opening the door for other teams to climb the podium.
Defending champion and winners of the two titles Essex didn’t win in the last 15 years, CVU, fielded a less experienced team than normal and ended up finishing fourth as a team, led by Ruby Opton.
St. Johnsbury has found itself on the podium a few times in recent years but would settle for fifth in 2021. Lizzy Jones would claim fourth place in the all-around, with teammate Anna Cushing placing ninth.
Montpelier would finish in third as a team, with Luna Pompei doing the heavy lifting. She finished sixth in the all-around.
Harwood got a spectacular performance from Kai McGrath, as she slid into the third spot in the all-around and helped the Highlanders finish second as a team.
Bryanna Palmer of Lake Region was second in the all-around competition, earning an event win on the beam, a pair of second place finishes in bars and floor exercise, and a third place spot in vault.
But the first-year team from Manchester would dominate the day. Ella Tashjian would claim event wins in bars, floor, and vault, and her ninth place finish on the beam was enough to hold off Palmer for the individual all-around title. Her teammates Tristan Prescott and Natashia Kopeck would finish seventh and tied for tenth respectively, and BBA would cruise to the team crown.
While the second through fifth place teams were separated by less than two points in the final team standings, Burr and Burton beat runner-up Harwood by nearly nine points.
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