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2018 GYMNASTICS PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
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West Forsyth, led by Sienna Schreiber and Aundria Crittenden, could be a repeat contender for a gymnastics state title. - photo by Micah Green

Forsyth Central

Head coach: Laurie Karickhoff, 11th season

Opening meet: Feb. 3 at BIO Gymnastics

What to know: Forsyth Central’s gymnastics program has been one of the school’s most consistent and successful teams in recent years, qualifying for the state meet four straight years, and the Bulldogs finished fifth last year, behind county rivals West Forsyth and Lambert.

Head coach Laurie Karickhoff said that 2018 is “definitely a rebuilding year,” with the Bulldogs losing Mackenzie Miller, Emily Flint and Emily Loveless to graduation, but Central has a number of returning contributors and a large freshman class coming in. Senior Lauren Gist, an All-County athlete from last year and the all-around winner at the county meet in 2016, is back, as are juniors Zoe Benson, Iza Leslie and Meredith Edwards from the state finals team.

Lambert

Head coach: Kara DiCesare, second season

Opening meet: Buford Invitational, Feb. 3 at Gymnastix Training Center

What to know: The Longhorns were neck-and-neck with eventual state champion West Forsyth last season, beating the Wolverines in the county championship and finishing second in the state meet. During the offseason, junior Brianna Greenlow, the all-around champion at the county meet, committed to the College of William & Mary.

Lambert is another team that is entering a “rebuilding” phase, as four seniors, including all-county honorees Maddy Lord and Alaina Steinberg, depart the program. The Longhorns have a strong centerpiece in Greenlow, though, and newcomers Briana Kramer and Esha Patra are also set to compete in the all-around. All-county honoree Frances Benefield, a sophomore, is also back for the Longhorns.

South Forsyth

Head coach: Chris Naffky, third season

Opening meet: Feb. 3 at BIO Gymnastics

What to know: The War Eagles were at the bottom of the Forsyth County ranks last year, finishing fourth in the county championships and failing to qualify for the team state meet, but the program has strength in youth, with its strongest returners and newcomers all being sophomores or younger.

South bring back two All-County honorees, in sophomore Carson Nolan, a state qualifier on the balance beam in 2017, and sophomore Sarah Wilson, an all-around qualifier. The War Eagles also bring in freshman McKenna Willy, a Level 8 gymnast.

West Forsyth

Head coach: Ashley Owen, fifth season

Opening meet: Buford Invitational, Feb. 3 at Gymnastix Training Center

What to know: The Wolverines peaked at the exact right time last year, and their score of 114.167 at the state meet at Ola High School in McDonough put them in first place and delivered the first team state title in West Forsyth’s history.

West loses All-County honoree Taylor Stocker to graduation, but sophomore Ella Castellanos and senior Aundria Crittenden, the latter of whom won the vault and floor titles at the state meet last year, are coming back. And while Wolverines head coach Ashley Owen had planned for the absence of junior Sienna Schreiber, a Missouri commit and the reigning state all-around champion, Schreiber came to Owen in late January and expressed her desire to try to balance her club commitments with high school competition. With all the pieces coming back, the Wolverines look like they’ll be back in contention for a state title.