Division I girls will top the list of competitors for the LHSAA State Gymnastics Meet at Baton Rouge Magnet High School on Friday and Saturday.
One-hundred, thirty-five girls from 17 schools and 34 boys from 10 schools are scheduled to compete on the all-new mats of the school’s gymnastics gymnasium.
“Our alumni foundation did a great job pitching in to get us new mats,” said Kevin Nee, Baton Rouge High coach and tournament director. “We’re ready to go — just polishing up some final touches.”
Girls Division I is composed of gymnasts competing at Level 8 and performing all optional routines in the four girls events: the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
Defending overall champion Raleigh Patrick of Episcopal returns to defend her title, along with four other top-10 finishers, all from New Orleans.
Sarah Brandt of Ursuline, (second place last year), Rebecca D’Antoni of Dominican (third place), Lucia Coco of Ursuline (fifth place) and Amanda DiVittorio of Mount Carmel (seventh place) will join Patrick and 27 others in vying for the overall Division I championship.
Nee said there are seven full teams in the running for the girls team championship: St. Amant, St. Joseph’s Academy, E.D. White, East Ascension, Catholic of New Iberia, Caddo Magnet and Baton Rouge High.
“Caddo Magnet is the returning champion, and I think St. Joseph’s will be right there with them,” Nee said. “I’ve seen both of those teams (in dual meets) and they’re both looking good.”
Girls Division III (Level 3) has the most competitors with 60. Caroline Broussard of E.D. White (second place) and Hailey Copeland of East Ascension (fourth place) are returning top-five finishers.
Jasmine McGowan of Patrick Taylor returns as the reigning champion in girls Division II (Level 4). Other returning top-five finishers are Kaitlyn Adams of E.D. White (third place) and Adele Borne of St. Joseph’s (fifth place).
Gymnasts in Divisions II and III, along with boys in Division II (Level 5), perform all compulsory routines.
The boys compete in six events: floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal (high) bar.
“We don’t have great numbers for the boys,” Nee said, “but the level of competition will be very good. Baton Rouge High should be favored (for team honors) because of our numbers.”
Last year’s boys Division I runnerup Colin Skinner of St. Paul’s hopes to keep the overall championship in the family. His brother, Brennan, now an LSU cheerleader, captured that honor last year.
Other returning Division I finishers are Dawson Fontenot of Live Oak (fourth place), Adam LeBlanc of Hammond (sixth place), Chase LeBlanc of St. Louis (seventh place) and Glenn Landry of Chalmette (ninth place).
Boys compete Friday with events beginning at 1:30 p.m. The girls take over Saturday with Division III beginning at 9:40 a.m., Division II at 12:30 p.m. and Division I at 2:25 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.