Gymnastics: Welcome to our coverage

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For the first time since I’ve been a member of the high school sports staff — I came on board in 2013 — the AJC will cover the GHSA gymnastics beat as part of its spring coverage.

I look forward to learning the sport and from those who participate at the GHSA level. As an introduction, let’s briefly summarize GHSA gymnastics.

It’s possible the AJC has covered this beat in the past, as the GHSA crowned its first champion in 1956 — Druid Hills’ boys. Following that season, however, the GHSA didn’t hold championships for another eight years, when Druid Hills’ boys won again in 1964. It wasn’t until 1969 that the GHSA added a girls championship, which Tucker won that year.

The GHSA stopped holding a boys gymnastics championship following the 1979 season and formally discontinued the sport for boys in 1986. It had been crowning a girls champion every year since Tucker won the inaugural season until 2020, when all GHSA spring sports were canceled.

Today, the girls compete in two classifications that are divided the same as in GHSA lacrosse: 1A-5A and 6A-7A. The two-classification alignment took effect ahead of the 2019 season, which concluded with West Forsyth winning 6A-7A, and North Oconee winning 1A-5A for its first title in program history. West Forsyth is a three-time defending champion, ending Buford’s three-peat from 2014-16.

Teams are holding competitions in preparation for the prelims April 22-23, and the state championships April 24. Both will be held at Buford Arena, and qualifying teams and individuals will compete on balance beam, uneven parallel bars, vault and floor exercise, per the GHSA.

Like with all sports this school year, the GHSA has released rules modifications for gymnastics, and — like with the organization’s fall and winter sports — all indications point to the completion of spring sports as well.

Below is a look at the GHSA’s rankings as of March 22.

(Score in parenthesis; minimum of two competitions required)

6A-7A

  1. Newnan (110.375)
  2. Walton (109.475)
  3. Carrollton (107.295)
  4. Cambridge (106.925)
  5. Alpharetta (106.788)
  6. Buford (105.375)
  7. Cherokee (103.9)
  8. South Forsyth (103.625)
  9. Forsyth Central (103.625)
  10. West Forsyth (103.475)

1A-5A

  1. North Oconee (109.4)
  2. Oconee County (104.35)
  3. Villa Rica (100.35)
  4. Westminster (99.013)
  5. Pace Academy (98.425)
  6. Central Carroll (96.975)
  7. Chamblee (96.3)
  8. Ola (96.1)
  9. Bainbridge (94.725)
  10. Thomas County Central (91.9)

Check back next Thursday when we start taking a look at some of the teams. Also, if you know of an interesting story involving a GHSA gymnastics program, drop a line on Twitter — DMs are open.

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