Thursday, November 4, 2010

Local gymnasts shine at regular-season finale

GYMNASTICS: Local gymnasts shine at regular-season finale

Louisa Mantilla swept the Level 4 Senior Division at the recent Pumpkin Caper Competition. Teammates Leah Hamilton (right) and Stacy Gaddis (left), who finished second and third on vault and floor exercise, respectively.
Photo by: Special to The Dispatch
USA Sports, with a team comprised of gymnastics from Gilroy and Hollister, closed out the regular fall competition season with a golden performance at the Great Pumpkin Caper hosted by Performance Athletics of San Luis Obispo.

"I'm really proud of the girls," USA Sports coach Melinda Lawrence said. "They are preparing themselves for postseason competitions. They're ready for the big meets."

USA Sports' Level 4 gymnasts captured the team title in the Great Pumpkin Caper while also dominating the individual awards at the team's final meet of the regular season.

In the senior division (10-year-olds-plus), Louisa Mantilla, of Gilroy, had her best meet of the season, winning all four events (vault 9.15; uneven bars 9.2; balance beam 9.05 and floor exercise 9.25), which also gave her the all-around title 36.45.

Teammate Leah Hamilton, of Hollister, finished with triple silvers (bars 8.75; floor 8.30; and all-around 34.15). She also finished third on beam (8.6). Camryn Irao, of Hollister, finished second on vault (8.825) and Stacy Gaddis, of Gilroy, competed in her first meet and placed third on vault (8.70) and floor (8.225).

In the middle age division (8-year-olds) Sloane Pace, of Gilroy won vault (9.15), placed second on bars (9.2), floor (9.125) and all-around (36.30), and third on beam (8.825). Teammate Simone Yamaoka, of Hollister, placed third on floor (8.8).

The youngest division (under 8-years-old), Sonte Stewart, of Gilroy, led the team with a first-place finish on vault (8.975), and a second on bars (8.95), floor (8.825) and all-around (tie 34.95). Ellie Pickford, also of Gilroy, added a first-place finish with a solid beam performance (8.55).

USA Sports' Level 5 team also did well. Courtney Grow, of Hollister, placed second on floor (8.975) and third in the all-around (32.40). Teammates Catharina Ji and Felicia Markfield, both of Hollister, collected third-place finishes. Ji was third on beam (8.675) and floor (8.75) and Markfield won bronze on floor (7.70).

The Level 6 gymnasts also put a scare in the competition with top finishes. Taylor Lawrence, of Hollister, won all four events and the all-around (vault 8.525; bars 9.2; beam 8.325, floor 8.5 and AA 34.55). Hollister teammate Marissa Opray placed second on vault (8.375) and third on bars (6.35), floor (8.175) and all-around (30.025).

The Level 4 gymnasts, Mantilla, Pace, Stewart and Yamaoka, from USA Sports who will go on to the postseason and compete in the NorCal State Championships scheduled for Dec. 4 and 5 in Rancho Cordova. A 34.00 in the all-around in a USA Gymnastics sanctioned meet qualifies a gymnast for the state meet.

The club's Level 5 gymnasts Aubrey Kaho, of Gilroy, and Kylii Anderson and Sara Dike, both of Hollister, will join teammates Grow, Ji, and Markfield at the NorCal Zone Championships later this month. Lawrence, a Level 6 gymnast, also qualified for the NorCal Zone Championships.
To qualify for the Zone Championships a gymnast must score a 31.00 in the all-around. A minimum score and placement at the Zone meet qualifies the Level 5 and 6 gymnasts for the state competition.

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