As the coach for both the Christopher and Gilroy High gymnastics teams, Nicholla Anagnoston has the unique role of leading two distinct sports squads that practice together.
Similar to other gymnastics programs in the Central Coast Section, schools in the same district or within close proximity often pool their resources and practice together at the same facility. Anagnoston started coaching Gilroy gymnastics in 1989, and once Christopher started a program around 2010, the two schools made arrangements to work out together.
“It’s an alliance that we created for the two schools and it’s worked out really well,” Anagnoston said. “The two teams train together, travel and compete together, but are scored separately. So in a sense they’re teammates, but on the other hand they’re competing for their own individual scores and for their teams.”
Members of the CHS and GHS squads competed in the Central Coast Section Championships May 18 at Gymtowne facility in South San Francisco. Gilroy’s Nahlea Haun finished in sixth place in the all-around competition with 37.20 points.
Two other local competitors scored in all four events for the all-around, including Christopher’s Cali Marbry (20th, 35.550) and Emma Campbell (22nd, 34.300). Relative to the CCS competition, Haun was strongest in the vault, taking fifth place in that event.
She also tied for the seventh best score on the bars and eighth highest score on the beam. Marbry was strongest on the beam, tying for 14th, and Campbell’s best event was the vault, where she tied for 16th. Christopher’s Li An Panfil finished 39th in the all-around by virtue of a 9.150 score on the floor.
Gilroy’s Kalea Ancheta also competed in one event, the floor, and scored 8.300. Gilroy senior Jamie Wood qualified but didn’t compete in the Championships, but she left an indelible mark with the two programs.
“Jamie has been the example of team dedication and commitment for four years solid,” Anagnoston said. “Jamie was an integral part of leading our gymnastics teams to continued progress and growth as gymnasts and teammates. She was 100% present, enthusiastic, positive and there for our team, leading the way for the newcomers as well as keeping her focus on new skills and the positive mindset needed to achieve it.
“Jamie is our senior captain for all these reasons and she has delivered on every level. Not only has she been a competitive asset to the team, but she has demonstrated the standard of what it means to be dedicated and passionate to your sport as well as an outstanding leader and athlete for her teammates and coaches.”
Haun has an opportunity to move up among the section’s elite as she just completed her sophomore year. Anagnoston said Haun has the talent, composure and work ethic to do just that.
“Nahlea is very technically accurate in her execution,” Anagnoston said. “She’s very focused and very clean in her skills, and because of her accuracy in technique, she is able to execute some very advanced moves. During competition, she’s very cool, calm and collected and just a fierce competitor, which is really impressive. The level of (CCS) competition was one of highest I’ve ever seen, so for Nahlea to medal in two categories was a real achievement.”
Marbry and Campbell also displayed strong form as they performed well throughout the season. Ancheta, who improved as the season progressed, returned to competition for her senior year after a couple of years away. Gilroy’s Alyssa Buhrman and Cianna Garibaldi also had solid seasons.
Gilroy’s JV team included Gabriela Castaneda, Micaela Gonzalez, Adriana Mireles and Citlali Ortiz. Christopher’s JV squad featured Ruby Delis and Mildred Reynoso.
CHS and GHS competed in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League with seven other teams. A total of 15 girls comprised the two rosters, junior varsity and varsity included. The level of skill ranges from beginner to advanced, and Anagnoston said there’s a place for everyone who wants to compete on the two teams.
“We are equipped to meet everyone’s needs because we have several coaches who excel to teach student-athletes who are new to the sport or more seasoned gymnasts,” she said.
Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]