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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Usual suspects lead after first day of district championships - Odessa American: Boys

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HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS: Usual suspects lead after first day of district championships

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Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 11:18 pm

After the first day of the district championships, the Permian and Odessa High gymnastics teams were happy with their performances.

Though each head coach quickly pointed out areas for improvement for their teams Friday night, they also got to see how their athletes would perform under the most pressure they’ve felt so far this season.

The Permian boys (171.900 points) responded with several gymnasts putting up impressive scores and will almost take a five-point lead over second-place San Angelo Central (167.000) into Saturday’s optional round. Odessa High sits in third place (164.300).

The Panthers had three of the top five individuals in the all-around as well with senior Brandon Dominguez (57.600) sitting in first. His younger brother Ryan Dominguez (57.300) is second place and senior Darryl Stephens (55.500) finished day one in fifth.

The Bronchos’ highest individual after the compulsory round was Nicholas Drakus (56.400), who is in fourth in the all-around.

The San Angelo Central girls (116.000) are in first place, a little more than three points ahead of second-place Permian (112.950). Odessa High is in third (101.500).

San Angelo Central’s Skyler McCowen (39.000) was only docked a combined point in the compulsory round’s four events to sit in first in the all-around. Permian’s Bridgett Pando (38.300) is tied with San Angelo Central’s Mary Grace Thompson for second place.

Permian’s Joannaly Gonzalez (37.900) and Charity Vore (36.550) are also in position to make the podium, finishing the first day of completion in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Odessa High sophomore Christa Adjani (34.300) was the Lady Bronchos’ highest individual finisher in 11th place.

“These championship meets, the postseason meets are the most difficult meets to get through … no matter how prepared you are, something is going to happen,” Permian boys head coach Chris Soto said. “Proved it tonight on p-bars, our best event, and we’re five-tenths under on each routine, taking deductions that we’ve never taken all year.”

The Panthers’ miscues on parallel bars were hidden by strong routines on a few other disciplines.

On high bar in particular, Ian Santos and Jade Guerrero stepped up with strong performances while a few teammates had a few more tenths docked from their routines than usual. Santos and Guerrero each scored a 9.700 on the discipline, tied for second place.

The Odessa High boys didn’t come into the district championships completely healthy and its overall score took a hit as a result. However, Bronchos head coach Tony Gonzalez was satisfied with his teams’ effort.

Odessa High is less than three points behind San Angelo Central for second place.

“I’m happy with where we’re at right now, considering all the small injuries I had,” Gonzalez said. “They pulled through, they worked hard and they did what they had to do. I think were in a good place right now.

“It’s just going to be a mental game tomorrow. We’re going to have to hit every set that we throw, especially on pommel horse and high bar. That’s what’s going to keep us either going forward for second or keep us back on third.”

The Permian girls persevered throughout the compulsory round to sit within striking distance of San Angelo Central. Also within the Lady Panthers’ sights is the 215-point threshold needed for girls teams to qualify from regionals to the state meet. Teams would also need to finish in the top three in the standings to advance at that stage.

Permian’s strong effort in the compulsory round gives it a little room for error on Saturday.

“I felt that we did a very good job from beginning to end,” Permian girls head coach Brandi Simmons said. “We had a few struggles on beam today, but overall, I thought the girls did an excellent job, they kept their heads up the whole time.”

The Odessa High girls had to compete Friday while the team’s lone upperclassman, senior Brittney Paredes, was limited to one event with a minor injury. Paredes scored a 9.650 on uneven bars.

The Lady Bronchos had to turn completely to their younger gymnasts, who still put up a triple-digit score.

“Today, they all stepped it up amazingly. I had some really good personal bests with my freshman athletes,” Odessa High girls head coach Lisa Torrain said. “The ways that we can improve and beat the numbers game is that we have to be dead on and hit in compulsory vault, dead on and hit on beam and floor because our bar start values are so very low.

“Tomorrow will be a big test as to whether or not we can make that 215 and place in the top three and get to state.”

The optional round starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Permian gymnastics gym.

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