AURORA | City teams and athletes won two team championships and three individual titles during the 2016 fall prep sports season. Here’s a look at one of Aurora’s individual state event winners in Overland’s Christie Yee, the Class 5A state gymnastics champion in the floor exercise:
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
OVERLAND’S CHRISTIE YEE: CLASS 5A STATE CHAMPION, FLOOR EXERCISE
As it has for many years, the Overland gymnastics team featured a mixture of athletes from several Aurora schools, plus some from the surrounding areas, which combined to form a very successful unit in 2016. Though without many all-around competitors, coach Lisa Sparrow’s Trailblazers had strength and depth in each event and it helped them to go undefeated all season long until the team competition at the Class 5A state meet, where they finished second to back-to-back winner Pomona. While a number of new faces became key contributors this season, one of the returners was junior Christie Yee, a Cherokee Trail student, who took another step forward this season by winning the individual state championship in the floor exercise. Shortly after she finished third in the floor exercise at the 2015 5A state gymnastics meet, Yee translated her skills and athleticism to the diving board for her school during the winter and qualified for the 5A state meet in that as well. Balancing gymnastics and diving at the same time is difficult, but has paid off in her performance for Yee. She had an outstanding season in the floor exercise and got better each time out in the closing weeks. Yee’s score of 9.600 points made her co-Centennial/Continental League champion in the event along with Cherry Creek’s Avery Paxton and she followed that up by scoring 9.700 to win the Region 1 title outright. During the team competition at the state meet, Yee earned a score of 9.675 to lead the way as the Trailblazers posted the highest team score in the event and helped their cause in the championship chase. Yee thought she’d performed well, but after some video study and consultation with Sparrow and her staff, she found some little things she could improve on for the individual event finals the next day. She executed those things when it mattered for a season-best score of 9.750 to win comfortably over Pomona’s Brooke Weins, the 5A all-around champion. Historically, the floor exercise has been a good event for Aurora gymnastics, as Yee became the third state champion from an Aurora school to win it. She joined former teammate Devin Bundas (who also won a state title on the uneven bars in 2014) in 2013 and Becky Sobus (of the Rangeview team that no longer exists) in 1998.