There is a first time for everything.
For Christina Shabet of Troy, it led to a second-straight All-Around state championship in the individual gymnastics finals at Plymouth High on Saturday.
Shabet won the All-Around last year without winning a single apparatus. This year she won an individual event — make that two, even — en route to successfully defending her title.
“That was so nice, I’ve never done that before, so usually I’m just there getting third, second, so it was nice, and there’s even a different kind of medal,” Shabe t said with glee.
The senior took first in the Floor Exercise and tied for first on the Bars with Rachel Hogan of Grand Ledge.
Shabet, who scored 38.675 overall, said the pressure was high to repeat as champ. “Like if I come back and don’t win it, people will think, oh,” she said. “And I know everyone else has been working so hard, so I had to do the same if I wanted to defend it.”
One thing that relieved some of her self-imposed pressure was the fact she didn’t start the high school season until the end of January as to stay eligible for some club competitions.
“Since I started later I was kind of nervous, not really knowing who’s good or who is having a good season, or improved from last year,” Shabet said. “But it helped me for high school competition because the season wasn’t going on and on and I was really ready, ready, ready to go.
“And even though my vault was my lowest score (9.525), that’s the highest I’ve ever gotten on vault. So I was really happy about that, because I almost stuck my landing, just a little tiny step.”
Hogan also took first in the Vault and also placed second on Floor. She finished just one-tenth of a point behind Shabet with a 38.575 overall.
“I’m just really happy I got the chance to be here and just compete,” Hogan said. “I put my all into it.”
She said her Vault was the best event. “I was just so happy when I landed it, because the warm up didn’t go so well, so it was a little surprising,” Hogan said.
Grand Ledge placed second in the team event Friday to winner Canton, after the Comets had won the prior six state championships.
Third overall went to Grand Ledge senior Presley Allison, while Canton’s winning team produced the fourth and seventh overall finishers, Jocelyn Moraw and Maddie Toal, respectively. Toal took first place on the Beam. Isabelle Nguyen of Grosse Pointe United was fifth and Carina Wright of Farmington sixth.
“I did a pretty solid bar routine today, so that was good because I haven’t been hitting it lately,” Moraw said. “Today I was really relaxed, so today was really more of a fun day.”
Moraw credited a more peaceful nature to having won the team state title the day before.
“I think it made it so even if I didn’t do as well today as I wanted to, I’d still be really satisfied just because we won a state championship,” Moraw added. “I was able to go out there and have fun since we already accomplished our main goal.
“It was super exciting to win it. Our coach has been working hard at this for so long so I thought it was well-deserved by the entire program.”
Toal said she knew what she had to do to take the individual Beam title.
“When I saw the scores go up early on in the meet, saw a 9.7 and I thought that might be impossible to beat. But I was really trying to beat it because I wanted it to be my moment today. I have worked so hard on beam this year, it’s definitely my best event.
“I’ve added a lot of new skills to my routine to make it more difficult and even though it’s harder to make and harder to get solid, it’s helped my score a lot.”