South Burlington gymnast Diana Gregoire had no expectations going into Saturday’s high school gymnastics state championships at Essex High School.
Despite winning last year’s all-around title, the senior had been burdened by injuries all season and entered the all-around competition with little hope of winning.
“I didn’t even expect to compete today,” Gregoire said of her injury-riddled season. “I am really happy just to be here.”
The expectations continued to be low when Gregoire started off the day-long competition with a fall on the beam event. But the South Burlington star preserved, winning the uneven bars event and going on to win the individual all-around title for the second year in a row.
“It’s just amazing,” Gregoire said. “I love gymnastics, I have been doing it for 14 years, it was a great way to end it.”
After starting the day with an 11th place showing on the beam, Gregoire quickly rebounded to finish the day with a score of 35.275 to win the all-around.
Gregoire was first in the bars with a score of 8.9, took second in the vault with an 8.5 and sixth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.225.
“I was here for my team, I didn’t even expect to place in the all-arounds,” Gregoire said. “It was awesome (to win).”
It was an impressive result for the senior who broke her heel early in the season and had not competed in a full slate of events in any match this season – until Saturday.
“I hadn’t practiced any of my floor skills, because I didn’t want to hurt (my heel) again,” Gregoire said. “But they said go at it. So I just threw all my skills and I was truly happy it worked out.”
In addition, Gregoire’s return performance helped her team exceed expectations of their own. The Wolves, seeded seventh coming into the meet, ended up in fifth place, improving on their regular season work.
“I was hoping for seventh because that is what we got seeded,” the senior said. “It was amazing.”
Essex won the team competition with a score of 137.625, edging out Champlain Valley Union (136.275). St. Johnsbury came in third and Montpelier finished in fourth before the Wolves rounded out the top five.