She’s gifted: For her birthday, Wrighte wins all-around title
Freedom-South Riding junior Sydney Wrighte wore the same determined look during Saturday’s Virginia High School League state individual open championship as she wore at the 5A North region and state team meets. Yet something was different — the black tape that had striped her upper back was gone.
“I felt really constricted by it, in a way,” Wrighte said.
Early in the season, Wrighte fell off the uneven bars, resulting in a serious case of whiplash and a herniated disc. Three to four months of rest and physical therapy helped her recover physically, but the uneven bars still slightly scared her, she said before Saturday’s meet at Patriot High.
Wrighte, the reigning All-Met Gymnast of the Year, applied chalk to her hands as Christina Bapple of North Stafford finished her bars routine with one soft thud on the mat that caused those around the apparatus to burst into cheers. Bapple scored a 9.8, a tough score to beat.
“Honestly, I didn’t watch anybody before me on purpose,” Wrighte said. “So I didn’t know what anybody got or how they did.”
Wrighte stuck her dismount and also tallied a 9.8, tying Bapple for first.
That score helped Wrighte defend her all-around title, which Wrighte said was a great 17th birthday gift.
The state championships are scheduled close to her birthday every year, she said. She scored a total of 38.975 points and placed first on beam (9.775), was part of a three-way tie for first on the floor (9.6) and was runner-up on vault (9.8) to Kellam’s Emily Ware (9.825).
Samantha Simon of McLean was second in the all-around (37.975), Jennah Chang of Stafford took third (37.9), and Kameryn Shears placed fourth (37.825).
McLean had a strong showing in the individual open meet. After winning the 6A state team championship on Friday with a meet-high 146.575 points, it was no surprise that the Highlanders had five girls vying for individual titles.
“They did awesome. They’re a great team. They were ready for regionals, ready to qualify individually along with making it as a team,” McLean Coach Courtney Lesson said. “They have a great work ethic, and it really showed.”
Simon tallied the highest scores for the Highlanders. She tied for first with Wrighte and Robinson’s Catherine Reynolds on floor, came in third on the balance beam (9.575) and placed fifth on the uneven bars (9.275).