Day Two was crunch time for teams at the Martha Mitchell-Harold Green Invitational Saturday at the Permian Gymnastics Gymnasium.
After a shaky first day, the Permian boys did just enough to take the boys crown, scoring 324.30 points, 0.7 in front of San Angelo Central (323.60).
Odessa High placed third with 306.000 points.
“Like I told the boys, it’s hard when you’re struggling and you’re trying to look past what happened yesterday,” Permian head coach Chris Soto said. “So watching them pull through was actually very accomplishing.
“Watching them surpass what they did yesterday, I know that they’re going to be a great team this year. Pulling through today really outweighed any mistake we made yesterday.”
Permian’s Ryan Dominguez took first in the all-around event, 2.4 points ahead of San Angelo Central’s Skylar Canion. Odessa High’s Jared Villegas finished third with 108.500 points.
The Panthers struggled during the optional rotations Friday, but winning the invitational and persevering through the adversity gave them a huge boost of confidence.
“This is kind of an eye opener for all of us as a team,” Dominguez said. “It kind of just brought the unity back. We‘re kind of having a little rough outlook of how the rest of the season would be, and we can just go up from here.
“We came from kind of a rough start. We got through it, so we can really get through anything now.”
Villegas has been a leader for a young and inexperienced Bronchos squad. He placed in the top five in floor exercise, rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar.
“I think Jared really goes by example. He’s human also. He gets frustrated. He messes up, but he’s able to get back up and keep on going,” Odessa High head coach Trey Enriquez said about his top all-around gymnast.
“Some of our younger guys … they messed up. Jared has been a good example of showing that even though you mess up there’s still more ahead and being able to keep moving forward, and he’s a very good positive guy.”
San Angelo Central won the girls competition with 225.65 points, with Permian a distant second at 210.30. Odessa High battled its way to a third-place finish with 192.750 points.
After leading the all-around category on the first day, Permian’s Bridgett Pando finished second behind San Angelo Central’s Savanna Razani with a margin of 0.8 points.
“Overall, I feel for the first optional and compulsory two-day meet that my girls did very well,” Permian head coach Brandi Pettus said. “That is always a struggle at the beginning of the year just to get back, especially back-to-back days.
“It gets us prepared for district. Yesterday some of my girls … the nerves got them a little bit. Today with compulsory’s everyone is a little bit more at ease. Overall, I feel like we’re going in the right direction and we have room for improvement. So, hopefully we’ll make some gains from now until then.”
Entering the meet, the theme for the Lady Bronchos was courage. Despite not winning the team title, they took a big leap forward by working through the two-day meet unscathed.
“This morning I thought they were a little bit flat and I think it’s just because, once again, it’s our first two-day competition,” Odessa High head coach Lisa Edwards said. “I think they took it for granted just a little bit, but they know how to present themselves with poise and purpose.
“So, I’m still happy about what they did today and we can only go up from here. I’m super excited. Our goal is to be 215, third place at regionals and we can do it. This whole weekend was a leap forward for us considering we had a 14-day break.”