As the West Forsyth gymnastics team received the trophy for winning the Forsyth County Gymnastics Championship meet, held on Saturday at Dobbs Creek Recreation Center, one member of the crowd wondered aloud: Where's the celebration?
The Wolverines' reaction was subdued for one main reason: Their eyes are fixed firmly on the potential prize of a second straight state title. The team's strong, balanced performance on Saturday was a sign in favor of West having a chance at capturing that accomplishment.
"I think we're definitely more confident than we were last year," said West senior Aundria Crittenden, who finished second in the balance beam and floor exercise. "We're at a higher point than we were last year, so I think we have a good chance."
West's team score of 109.55 easily topped the 103.65 of second-place Lambert, who topped the Wolverines for the county championship last year. West was the only school in Saturday's meet that didn't have to use a score below 8 in any event and that had a score of 9 or higher in each.
"We're very fortunate to have a large team; that, as a coach, is a huge plus," Wolverines head coach Ashley Owen said. "But it's very difficult for me to not be able to put some girls at certain meets."
And West's best team performance is likely still to come. Junior Sienna Schreiber, the state all-around champion last year, had initially planned to not compete for the Wolverines this season and was absent on Saturday due to club commitments, but Owen expects to have Schreiber later on, towards the postseason.
Crittenden will likely be stick to just to the beam and floor this season, as she's been competing with a wrist injury that forced her to leave her club, and Owen plans to employ Schreiber on the vault and bars as a complement to Crittenden.
It isn't that winning on Saturday didn't mean anything for West: This is the first time the program has ever won the meet, and the second-place finish last year served as motivation for the rest of the season.
"We're obviously extremely excited, because this is the first time we've ever taken home the county championship before," Owen said. "But we know that we still have something more that we're looking forward to, and so this was just a good practice to get ready for what we're hoping for at the end of the season."
Lambert junior Brianna Greenlow was the individual all-around champion on Saturday with a score of 37.40, capturing that title for the second year in a row.
FORSYTH COUNTY GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. Natalie Force, West Forsyth, 9.40
2. (tie) Sarah Wilson, South Forsyth, 9.30
2. (tie) Brianna Greenlow, Lambert, 9.30
1. Ella Castellanos, West, 9.20
2. Sarah Wilson, South, 9.10
3. Olivia Blakely, West, 9.00
1. (tie) Brianna Greenlow, Lambert, 9.60
1. (tie) Ella Castellanos, West, 9.60
2. Aundria Crittenden, West, 9.55
1. Brianna Greenlow, Lambert, 9.70
2. Aundria Crittenden, West, 9.50
3. Iza Leslie, Forsyth Central, 9.40
1. West, 109.55
2. Lambert, 103.65
3. Central, 101.90
4. South, 99.85