• October 17, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Mitchell-Green Invitational gets underway at Permian - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Mitchell-Green Invitational gets underway at Permian

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019 11:52 pm

During the heat of competition, gymnasts had to undergo an hour-long delay due to the blinking fire alarm lights.

Once the issue was resolved, the Martha Mitchell-Harold Green Invitational went full steam ahead at the Permian Gymnastics Gymnasium on Friday night.

Amidst the competition were two West Texas gymnastic pioneers chatting about the good old days.

Martha Mitchell coached gymnastics at Permian High School for 22 years. Her teams qualified for the state competition 20 times and never placed lower than fifth.

As she mingled with coaches and admired the hard-working athletes, two state championship banners that she brought to the school in 1975 and 1992 were waving proudly above the gym floor.

Although the sport of gymnastics has evolved with more modern equipment, it still remains strong in West Texas.

“I think as far as gymnastics itself, I think we’ve maintained our sport. Gymnastics has been a very popular sport here in West Texas, particularly in our district,” Mitchell said. “We’ve always been a powerhouse district, but here at Permian it’s always been important since I started here in ’71-’72.

“Things have certainly changed and it’s grown into what we have here today.”

The Harold Green Invitational has been going on for quite a while, but last year was the first time Mitchell’s name was dedicated to the meet.

Mitchell retired last year as a principal at Lamar Early Education Center after 46 years with the Ector County Independent School District.

“It’s great just to see people enjoying gymnastics and seeing coaches still working hard to make sure that our gymnasts are top quality,” Mitchell said. “Some of these coaches were coaching when I was coaching. It’s fun to come back and see them. It’s a wonderful sport.”

Alongside Mitchell was Harold Green, a former administrator and coach for 36 years. Green played a vital role in helping gymnastics grow in the Permian Basin when he began his career as an assistant athletic director with the ECISD.

“I started in 1974 and I was a head basketball coach at Odessa High School. I didn’t know a lot about gymnastics, but after kind of evaluating the programs, it’s a great sport for small people and a great sport for girls,” Green said. “We were looking for other sporting events that girls could participate in.

“So, I felt like it was a great opportunity for those two classes of athletes. So, (I) just worked real hard to strengthen the programs to benefit them.”

In the girls competition, San Angelo Central is in first with 109.800 points, while Permian is second with 102.050 points. Odessa High sits in third place with 89.700 points.

Permian’s Bridgett Pando leads the all-around category with 36.100 points, ahead of San Angelo Central’s Savanna Razani.

San Angelo Central leads the boys competition with 154.300 points, while Permian follows closely in second with 152.900 points. Odessa High is in third with 140.500 points.

Permian’s Ryan Dominguez is second in the all-around standings behind Skylar Canion of San Angelo Central by 0.3 points.

>> Follow Peter Dindinger on Twitter @OA_PDindinger

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