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Gymnastics: Denmark captures county title behind Davies' all-around win
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Denmark captured the 2021 Forsyth County gymnastics championship Monday behind an impressive performance from senior Emma Davies. - photo by David Roberts

Emma Davies knew she nailed it as she walked off the mat. 

After sticking her roundoff back handspring full to conclude her floor routine Monday at the Forsyth County gymnastics championship, Davies knew it would take a nearly perfect routine to top her.

Nobody did. 

Davies not only won the floor title (9.750), but also finished first in vault (9.900) and bars (9.600), winning the all-around title and helping Denmark capture the county championship for the first time in the school's three-year history.

"It's very exciting," Davies said. "We definitely have been working our butts off the past couple weeks, just trying to prepare for this meet and trying to come in and do the best we possibly can. To come out on top is just so exciting, and it shows that all of our hard work has paid off."

Denmark (106.450) finished ahead of host South Forsyth (105.850), which edged 2019 county and state champion West Forsyth (105.550) by a mere three tenths of a point.

The Danes also received a strong performance from Sarah Portanka, who had the third-best performance on the vault with a 9.400.

Davies was nearly perfect on the vault, and despite admitting the balance beam is her weakest event, the University of Pennsylvania signee turned in a score of 9.450, the second-highest in the event. 

"She is just an amazing athlete," Denmark coach Kaylee Satterfield said. "She's a powerhouse in all four events and she's really the backbone of our team. She's the leader and all the girls look up to her to get the momentum going for practice and competitions. We're going to miss her greatly, greatly next year."

Manama Fofana collected the only individual win that didn't belong to Davies, finishing first in the balance beam (9.650). 

Fofana finished in the top three in all of her events, but didn't compete in the vault. Mikey Schmeelk led the Wolverines in the vault (9.100) and posted solid scores in floor (8.600), bars (8.250) and on the beam (8.200).

Lambert senior Shreya Munshi also had a solid showing, finishing second in vault (9.600) and floor (9.400), adding a third-place score on the beam (9.400) and a score of 8.650 on bars to finish second in all-around (37.050).

Forsyth Central sophomore Avery Weis placed third in all-around, impressing in the vault (9.000) and bars (8.900), and adding an 8.700 with her floor routine and 8.300 on the beam to edge teammate Lydia Kimsey. Kimsey also shined in the vault (9.400) and bars (9.300), finishing third in each event.

North Forsyth freshman Olivia Preston finished third in the vault (9.400) to lead the Raiders and narrowly missed placing with her 9.000 on the beam. The Raiders are fielding a gymnastics team this season for the first time in school history.

Denmark had some success during its first season in 2019, finishing second at the county meet and at the Class 1A-5A state championship meet. Still, the Danes knew the competition would only get tougher after making the jump from Class 4A to Class 7A.

"This is our first year in 7A, so coming into it we were kind of like the underdogs," Satterfield said. "We've been dealing with a lot of injuries this season, so it was very exciting for us and the girls to have this boost before it gets down to the wire with prelims and state. It was really exciting. We're very excited for the girls. We added in a bunch of new stuff today that they've been working on, so all the practices paid off and it was just awesome."

The Class 6A-7A preliminary state meet is scheduled for April 22, with the state meet following two days later.

"We're definitely just trying to improve our average team score," Davies said. "We had a little bit of a rough start, but we are definitely picking up the pace. As we did today, we are definitely coming out as a strong team and a force to be reckoned with, so I'm excited to see what the rest of the Gym Danes have in store."

Forsyth County Gymnastics Championship results:

Vault:

1. Emma Davies, Denmark, 9.900

2. Shreya Munshi, Lambert, 9.600

3. Olivia Preston, North Forsyth, 9.400

Uneven bars:

1. Emma Davies, Denmark, 9.600

2. Lia Carter, South Forsyth, 9.350

3. Manama Fofana, West Forsyth, 9.300

Balance beam:

1. Manama Fofana, West Forsyth, 9.650

2. Emma Davies, Denmark, 9.450

3. Shreya Munshi, Lambert, 9.400 

Floor exercise:

1. Emma Davies, Denmark, 9.750

2. Manama Fofana, West Forsyth, 9.650 

3. Lia Carter, South Forsyth, 9.050

All-around:

1. Emma Davies, Denmark, 38.700

2. Shreya Munshi, Lambert, 37.050

3. Avery Weis, Forsyth Central, 34.900

Team:

1. Denmark, 106.450

2. South Forsyth, 105.850

3. West Forsyth, 105.550

4. Forsyth Central, 103.750

5. Lambert, 90.250

6. North Forsyth, 85.550