Washington won the regular season title with a 7-0 record, followed by Lincoln (6-1) and Northeast (5-2). The real fight will be for second place.
"We're always in second place," said Karen Kardon Weber, who is in her ninth year of coaching at Lincoln. "Washington has club kids who compete 12 months a year. If they aren't club kids, they've had club experience.
"I took a sabbatical last year to have a baby, and there was no one to take the team, so we didn't have one. Some of my girls did nothing for a year, and just came back last December."
Washington coach Pat Kiser said this year she has only three or four girls who also compete for gymnastics clubs. But that doesn't mean Washington isn't the heavy favorite. Kiser has never known failure as a gymnastics coach. She isn't sure how she would handle it.
She suspects she would handle it the same way she handles success.
"It's difficult to answer that question," said Kiser, a former gymnast at Washington, whose teams have gone undefeated in her five-year tenure. "I don't really think about it. The focus would be the same even if our program wasn't so successful.
"I think I'd pretty much do things the same. It's not so much about winning. It's about doing your best, and that's what they do."
Their best is generally the standard other teams strive to meet.
Competitors from Washington include: Laurie Aidenbaum, sophomore, all- around; Karen Alloway, freshman, all-around; Gina Clemente, senior, all- around; Carly Dribon, freshman, all-around; Elisha Frost, sophomore, all- around; Melissa Janoff; senior, all-around; Kristen Kern, freshman, all- around; Rachel Kushner, freshman, uneven bars; Hara Levitt, sophomore, all- around; Sabra Mavzaferro, freshman, all-around; Denise Reeves, senior, all- around; Jen Schaffer, freshman, balance beam, floor exercise, vault; and Jill Van Brunt, sophomore, beam.
Jen Acker is the manager. Aidenbaum, Clemente, Frost, Janoff, Levitt and Reeves were All-Public last year. Clemente won a scholar-athlete award last year.
A funny thing happened to Kardon Weber while she was taking care of her baby. Some of the gymnasts were taking care of each other.
"They waited for me to come back," Kardon Weber said. "It's incredible how they helped each other while I was gone. They coached each other."
Lincoln competitors include: Kristin Lafty, senior, all-around; Maria Leal, sophomore, all-around; Becky Lewis, senior, bars; Amy Lewis, sophomore, bars, floor, Gina Riccobono, senior, uneven bars, vault; Ellie Moore, sophomore, floor, beam; Laura Jones, sophomore, beam; Darlene Krause, senior, beam; and
Amy Zobec, junior, beam, floor.
The Lewises are sisters.
When Stephany Singletary arrived at Northeast High to coach gymnastics three years ago, she was amazed at how talented the girls were off the apparatus.
"I was surprised at how many girls played instruments," Singletary said. ''Francine (Cornine) played the violin. Jill (Oravitz) played the violin. I
went to see a school production of 'Fiddler on the Roof,' and the whole gymnastics team was in it. They were either in the orchestra, on the roof, acting, or dancing.
On the gymnastics stage, Singletary's teams have been progressing since she arrived. Two years ago, they finished fourth in the league and didn't make the championships. Last year, they finished fourth in the championships.
Northeast competitors include Jill Oravitz, junior, all-around; Tammy Roy, junior, all-around; Amy Roy, senior, parallel bars, floor; Francine Cornine, senior, beam, bars; Sarina Agi, senior, uneven bars; Tara Fuhrman, senior, uneven bars; Jenifer Fox, sophomore, vault, floor; Sarah Flacco, freshman, vault; floor, beam; Lorie Hearn, sophomore, beam; Amy Badmann, sophomore, beam; and Eleisha Abrams, sophomore, vault, beam. The Roys are sisters.