While she didn’t quite reach the state championship-winning heights from her previous season, Mattea Dolan was outstanding again in the 2021 gymnastics season.
With Aurora’s gymnasts combining together on the Overland co-op team, the All-Aurora team is small and dominated by Dolan (a Grandview student), who was the top performer among locals in the all-around, floor exercise, vault and uneven bars.
Sophomore Maya Richman rounds out the All-Aurora team as the top performer on the balance beam.
Dolan won the Class 5A all-around championship as a sophomore when she was part of a dominating title-winning performance for coach Lisa Sparrow’s Overland team — which competed in a delayed season in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic — and she took on an extra leadership role with a slew of talented seniors graduating.
While she valued the return to a team setting not allowed previously by the pandemic, Dolan excelled during the regular season and she tuned up for the state meet by winning the Centennial/Continental League championship in the all-around competition with a season-best score of 38.350 points.
At the state meet, she finished with a score of 37.525 that ended up placing her fifth in a very competitive chase for the top spot that went to Lakewood’s Isabelle Gee. In the process, Dolan finished in the top 15 in the floor exercise, vault and uneven bars, which earned her spots in the individual event finals in each.
Dolan nearly came away with an individual state championship in the vault when she racked up a score of 9.8 — a big jump from the 9.625 she achieved in the team competition — only to get edged by Heritage’s Kate Bryant, who scored 9.9. Dolan also scored 9.65 in the finals of the floor exercise (also won by Bryant) to finish third, while her 9.525 put her sixth in the finals of bars.
Her efforts earned her a spot on the Colorado High School Activities Association’s All-State first team.
The Trailblazers had a difficult balance beam set during the state team competition and only Richman managed to make it through to the event finals with her score of 9.2. She posted a score just slightly below that in the finals with a 9.175 that was good enough for eighth place.
Richman gained a CHSAA All-State second team honor.
The good news for Overland, which finished sixth as a team, is that the majority of the team is expected to return for the 2022 season.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2021 SENTINEL COLORADO ALL-AURORA GYMNASTICS TEAM
All-around — Mattea Dolan, jr., Overland; Floor exercise — Mattea Dolan, jr., Overland; Vault — Mattea Dolan, jr. Overland; Balance beam — Maya Richman, soph., Overland; Uneven bars — Mattea Dolan, jr., Overland
Honorable mention: Ryann Walline, fr., Overland (floor exercise)