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GYMNASTICS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Permian navigates through bumpy day, maintains composure to sit eighth place - Odessa American: Girls

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GYMNASTICS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Permian navigates through bumpy day, maintains composure to sit eighth place

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Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 11:05 pm

Permian had a roller-coaster day.

Every time the Lady Panthers thought they were in the clear from any faults — another one came and they needed to regroup themselves.

Through all that, Permian found a way to stay close to the top half of the standings.

The Lady Panthers (113.825) finished the compulsory round of the 2017 Texas High School Gymnastics Championships at the Permian Fieldhouse in eighth place — nearly three-tenths away from sixth-place Fort Worth Boswell. Rockwall (116.775) leads the pack.

“Honestly, I can’t even be any prouder of these girls,” Permian head coach Brandi Simmons said. “Over these last couple weeks, they’ve worked real hard. We had a good advantage going into this meet in having the equipment here.”

That advantage played out throughout the day. Permian started on floor, which is usually one of its weaker compulsory events. And even though the Lady Panthers took 10th in the discipline, it went as smooth as any single event throughout their day.

Permian made its way to vault which didn’t start the way Simmons hoped. A few of her gymnasts needed a second opportunity to better their score after they didn’t stick the dismount or fell.

By the end, it was the first time Permian had five gymnasts score a 9.000 or better in the discipline all season long.

“I think overall we did very good as a team,” Permian’s Rosalinda Aguilar said. “We’ve had better days on certain events, but we kept our heads up and we put a smile on our faces.

“We are forced to have people later in the lineup pull their weight and be able to have a solid routine.”

Lucky enough for Permian in every event, they had gymnasts throughout its lineup lift the team when others didn’t have their best routines.

“These girls just stayed up the whole time,” Simmons said. “Even if we did have a fall somewhere, the next person stepped up to the plate.”

That was exactly the case on the Lady Panthers’ third event — the uneven bars.

After a few competitors couldn’t get a good grip on the lower bar, Permian’s final four gymnasts finished strong to help the team score 28.600.

In their final event of the day, balance beam, the Lady Panthers were tested the most.

Nearly every Lady Panthers’ gymnast had to save themselves from falling off the beam after losing their equilibrium.

“To finish on beam sometimes is tough, because it is one of those events that’s make or break,” Simmons said. “Was it our best — no, but did they do well — yes.”

The final three Permian gymnasts to compete on the day all had major recoveries to save themselves from falling off the beam to take sixth in the event — the Lady Panthers’ highest individual discipline mark of the day.

“It is definitely hard to go up next on an event after one of your teammates falls because you’re like ‘I have to hit this routine,’” Permian’s Joannaly Gonzalez said.

Permian sitting in eighth puts it in Flight B today for the optional round. That means it’ll be on the fieldhouse floor at the same time as the three teams directly ahead of it in the standings.

“It’s a big advantage for us and just a big step-up for our team,” Simmons said. “It’s a new day, we got a clean slate. We just start over.”

>> PAREDES NAILS ROUTINE: The lone Odessa High girl to compete at the state meet is Brittney Paredes — who is only competing on floor.

That means Paredes was at the Permian Fieldhouse for about six hours just to compete for barely more than a minute. But she made the most of it.

Paredes scored a 9.500 on the compulsory floor routine — which puts her in a six-way tie for 26th place.

During the other three events, Paredes watched as the team she rotated with — first-place Rockwall — compete and even joined in on some of the Yellow Jackets’ pre-event huddles.

“Their attitude is really positive and uplifting,” Paredes said about Rockwall. “So it’s hard to have a bad day if everyone around you is so excited about what they’re doing.”

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