Ocean Lakes’ Lee sisters shine in state gymnastics individual competition

Sian Wilkerson, The Virginian-Pilot
·2 min read

Gymnastics has always been a family affair for two of Ocean Lakes’ stars.

Sisters Samantha and Kara Lee, who led the Dolphins to second place in the Class 6 state gymnastics team championships Saturday, posted two of the highest event scores for local performers in Sunday’s individual competition at Kellam High in Virginia Beach.

“It can be good and bad,” Kara, a senior, said about having her sister on the floor with her. “... It’s good to have someone you know and you’re close with. But at the same time, we’re competitive.”

“It’s way more positive than negative,” Samantha, a junior, added.

On the floor exercise, Samantha was the state runner-up, posting a score of 9.583, while Kara finished with a 9.567 on the balance beam to tie for seventh.

Kara, who finished runner-up in the Class 6 Region A all-around, was eighth in the state all-around competition, finishing at 36.484.

“I feel like I could’ve done better,” Kara said. “It wasn’t the best. It wasn’t terrible either.”

Ocean Lakes’ Brooke Gunter, who won individual titles on the uneven parallel bars and the vault in 2020 as well as finishing fifth in the all-around competition and leading the Dolphins to the team championship, competed in just one event this year, scoring a 9.283 on the bars to finish sixth.

On vault, Kellam’s Ericka Robertson and Kempsville’s Quinn Bracknell each posted a 9.367 to lead local performers and tie for 10th place.

Fairfax’s Payton Morrison won the state all-around competition, earning a 38.534. She won the floor exercise (9.6) and balance beam (9.8) as well.

Atlee’s Karly Thurman won the title on the uneven parallel bars with a 9.533, while Langley’s Julia Stout was first on the vault with a 9.683.

At the end of the day, Samantha was just happy to be competing.

“I’m just glad we got to have the season,” she said.