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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Permian boys use depth to claim third straight district championship - Odessa American: Boys

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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Permian boys use depth to claim third straight district championship

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Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 6:08 pm

Members of the Permian boys gymnastics team quickly admitted its performance at the district championships wasn’t its best.

Although the experienced Panthers hold themselves to the highest of standards, they still soared to a third straight district title.

The Panthers stood atop the podium Saturday afternoon at Permian High School. They bested second-place San Angelo Central by more than 12 points (329.80-317.40).

Odessa High (309.70) rounded out the podium in third.

Permian senior Brandon Dominguez (109.50) won the boys all-around by almost two points over Abilene Cooper’s Luke Muzquiz (107.90). Odessa High’s Nicholas Drakus (106.80) finished third.

“It was pretty rough, so winning just kind of gave us that confidence booster for regionals,” Dominguez said about the district meet. “It’s kind of a relief, because you feel like if you hit it now, then you’re going to be prepared for the next two meets … I’d rather have it happen now than at state.”

The Odessa High boys were riddled with minor injuries throughout the weekend, but were still more than 14 points above the 295-point mark needed to qualify for state.

“We’re after San Angelo,” Odessa High boys head coach Tony Gonzalez said. “My plan is to finish second in regionals. It’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy.”

Permian boys head coach Chris Soto did want more from his team at the district meet, but was thrilled to bring home another district trophy.

Having been a member of Permian’s 2005 state championship team, Soto knows that the Panthers’ performance over the weekend can lead to much better things down the line.

“We’re not at our best, definitely,” Soto said. “Looking at past years, the district meet and the regional meet — those were our best competitions. So I think maybe we’re one step ahead of what we need to be. In the past we were a step behind going into district and regionals.”

San Angelo Central won the girls district championship by more than four points over second-place Permian (225.45-221.00). Odessa High (197.30) took third place. 

Central’s Skyler McCowen (75.55) won the girls all-around, edging Permian’s Joannaly Gonzalez (74.95). Permian’s Bridgett Pando and San Angelo Central’s Mary Grace Thompson were just off that pace in a tie for third with 74.90 points.

Odessa High’s highest individual finisher was sophomore Christa Adjani (65.85) in 11th place.

Both San Angelo Central and Permian scored above the 215-point threshold needed to qualify for the state meet. They’ll need to hit those marks again at the Region III meet, which takes place on April 13 and 14 at the Permian Fieldhouse.

Odessa High is shy of the qualifying mark, but Lady Bronchos’ head coach Lisa Torrain knows her team has improved vastly over the course of this season.

“We didn’t do as well in compulsories as we did in the optionals today,” Torrain said. “If we can get them to work together in the same weekend, hey, we’ll be good.

“We can do it, not that I had any doubt, even at the beginning of the season … it’s just a work in progress. We’re going to get there. They believe in me, I believe in them. So therefore, it’s all going to work together at some point in time.”

The Lady Panthers had one of their strongest balance beam performances in optional competition this season Saturday, Permian head coach Brandi Simmons said. That was one of the areas from Friday where San Angelo Central distanced itself from Permian in the standings.

“I was very pleased with what the girls did,” Simmons said. “They’re excited for the score that they reached and how they ended up on every event. They did an excellent job, I couldn’t ask for anything better as this point.”

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