Tumbling nice

Samantha Nussbaumer finishes her floor routine.

Gilroy
– The GHS varsity gymnastics team got to do something Thursday
evening that it won’t get to do for the rest of the year – compete
at home. Taking on teams from Tracy High and West High, also from
Tracy, Gilroy wasn’t able to field a full squad itself.
Gilroy – The GHS varsity gymnastics team got to do something Thursday evening that it won’t get to do for the rest of the year – compete at home. Taking on teams from Tracy High and West High, also from Tracy, Gilroy wasn’t able to field a full squad itself. But head coach Nicki Anagnoston said the practice meet was an important early outing despite the Mustangs not posting an overall score due to a lack of gymnasts.

Anagnoston expects the team to be at full strength by the Cupertino Meet on April 28, when several varsity gymnasts will return and as many as three or four junior varsity team members could move up.

“We always get stronger in April,” said Anagnoston. “That’s our month. This is very early in the season. Our routines and our skills are not polished yet. We’re training more skills, and adding more difficulty to the routines. We tend to do most of our growing in April.”

Tracy, which fielded 10 varsity gymnasts, was the only school of the three to post a score, 164. West High brought nine varsity gymnasts to the meet at the GHS auxiliary gym.

For Gilroy, junior Samantha Nussbaumer placed 5th in the floor exercise, senior Erica Law was 5th on the balance beam, senior Adrienne Etienne also had a 5th place, on the uneven bars, and senior Stephanie Orth was 6th on bars.

Junior Chelsea Garcia injured her knee on the beam, and is scheduled to have an MRI early next week.

Law, the veteran on the team, was a varsity member all last year and a CCS placer. The other girls moved up from junior varsity late in the season.

“Erica was consistent all last year, Anagnoston said. “She placed occasionally, she qualified for CCS. Floor is her best event.”

With a relatively inexperienced team, the coach is concentrating on getting each girl prepared in her specialty event.

“We have to field a full team,” she said. “That is a goal, but more importantly I’m focusing on training each girl to qualify individually (for the league finals and CCS). That way, if we don’t field a full team, individuals can still participate in their best event.”

Varsity gymnasts Marissa Gomez, a junior, and Megan Signorotti, a senior, are expected to return to the squad next month.

Gilroy will face Tracy and West High again, at Tracy HS on April 21. Tracy is applying to join Gilroy’s league, which currently has three other schools – St. Francis, Los Altos and Cupertino.

The Mustangs JV squad placed first, with a score of 157.2, at the three-way meet.

“We have a very large JV team that’s young and gaining experience,” said Anagnoston.

“They look really good for the start of the season. It’s really encouraging. Last year we had a little bit of a setback on JV’s, but the previous three years we won the league championship.”

The junior varsity’s top gymnast on the night was Veronica Kelly, who placed 3rd on vault with an 8.9, 1st on bars with an 8.4, 1st on beam with an 8.2 and 1st on floor with an 8.9, for a first place finish in the All Around with a score of 34.4.

Shannon Hubbard was first on vault, with a 9.1, and was joined as a placer by Jenna Hubbard (3rd – vault, 4th – floor), Amber Minderler (2nd – floor, 4th – bars, 4th – All Around), Larissa Gomez (3rd – floor) and Carrie McGeehon (3rd – bars).

“This is the first meet that the girls had and I think they did very well,” said JV head coach Jennifer Yip. “Of course there is always room for improvement. I am so excited to have Veronica on the team. She is very strong and is confident in herself. I was also very proud of Jenna for coming through for the team on vault.”

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