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Gymnastics: Central captures county title; East's Tatum wins all-around
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Forsyth Central won the annual Forsyth County gymnastics championship with a team score of 107.550. Photo by Brad Bretz for the Forsyth County News

Team Scores

1. Forsyth Central, 107.550

2. East Forsyth, 104.950

3. South Forsyth, 104.550

4. Denmark, 103.000

5. West Forsyth, 102.100

6. Lambert, 95.400

7. North Forsyth, 95.200

Vault

Mani Fofana, West Forsyth, 9.700

Katelynne Tatum, East Forsyth, 9.600

Katie Andrews, Forsyth Central, 9.400

Ziyan Williams, South Forsyth, 9.400 

Bars

Ava Balzano, Denmark, 9.300

Katelynne Tatum, East Forsyth, 9.200

Katie Andrews, Forsyth Central, 9.200

Lydia Kimsey, Forsyth Central, 9.150

Beam

Olivia Preston, East Forsyth, 9.200

Katelynne Tatum, East Forsyth, 9.100

Ava Balzano, Denmark, 9.100

Brenna Kudlas, North Forsyth, 8.900

Floor

Katie Andrews, Forsyth Central, 9.700

Mani Fofana, West Forsyth, 9.700

Ashlyn Scanlon, Forsyth Central, 9.500

Brenna Kudlas, North Forsyth, 9.400

All-Around

Katelynn Tatum, East Forsyth, 37.100

Katie Andrews, Forsyth Central, 36.900

Olivia Preston, East Forsyth, 36.300

Mani Fofana, West Forsyth, 36.300

Forsyth Central coach Chris Woodall has urged the Bulldogs' gymnastics team to focus on the small things this season.

But Saturday was a big win.

Central captured the annual Forsyth County gymnastics championship title Saturday at Dobbs Creek Recreation Center with a team score of 107.550, finishing ahead of second-place East Forsyth, which produced all-around champion Katelynn Tatum. Central last won the county meet in 2016.

The Bulldogs received strong scores from Katie Andrews, whose floor routine score of 9.700 tied her with West Forsyth's Mani Fofana for the highest score all day. Andrews, who finished second in all-around scoring, turned in three scores above a nine, including floor, vault [9.400] and bars [9.200]. 

Whitney Bonk was remarkably consistent for the Bulldogs, scoring high in all four events, vault [8.700], bars [8.450], beam [8.400] and floor [8.500], while Ashley Scanlon [9.500 floor; 8.800 bars] and Lydia Kimsey [9.150 bars; 9.000 vault] helped propel Central to victory.

"It's the highest team score that this team has achieved, so that's huge," Woodall said. "Our second-place all-around, Katie Andrews ... she's a really strong athlete. So, it's good to see young contributors as well as our junior contributors. Overall, it's just a young team, so it's just exciting."

Tatum, also a freshman, impressed in her debut at the county meet, and was the only gymnast to score above a nine in all four events. Her 9.600 in vault highlighted a performance that also included a 9.200 in bars and in her floor routine, plus a 9.100 on the beam.

"I was a little nervous, but I just had to take deep breaths and tell myself I could do it and then have hits," Tatum said.

Teammate Olivia Preston wasn't far behind Tatum, collecting scores of 9.300 in her floor routine, 9.200 on the beam, 9.100 in vault and 8.700 in bars to finish tied with Fofana for third all-around. Fofana was clinical in vault and her floor exercise, posting a 9.700 in both events and collecting an all-around score of 36.300.

South finished third and had four gymnasts earning a score of nine or better, including Ziyan Williams who did it in vault [9.400] and floor [9.100]. Lauren Santiago scored a 9.100 in vault, while Ava Bouldin also shined in vault with a 9.000, and Josie DaSilva added a 9.300 in her floor routine.

Denmark's Ava Balzano collected an all-around score of 27.600 despite participating in only three events. Still, Balzano excelled in bars [9.300], floor [9.200] and on beam [9.100] to help the Danes to fourth-place showing.

The win is an early season boost for the Bulldogs, who scored a 105.6 at Buford in their first meet of the season.

"Today was a real growth period in their mental fortitude," Woodall said. "They had some times where there were falls, there were near injuries. Thankfully, one of our gymnasts had a bad fall and didn't get hurt. But they would come back in the next event and improve. So, to see that kind of growth in such a young team is really good to see."