San Angelo Central women’s gymnastics team finishes with No. 1 ranking

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The San Angelo Central High School women’s gymnastics team was unable to defend its state championship, but the Lady Cats officially finished No. 1 in the final standings after the Texas High School Gymnastics Association adopted a contingency plan due to COVID-19.

The state championships were scheduled to be held in Euless next Friday and Saturday, before the rest of the spring schedule for all high school sports was canceled earlier this month due to pandemic concerns.

The Central girls finished with an average score of 230.817, followed by Hurst Bell (227.975), Rockwall-Heath (226.400), Rockwall High (226.017) and Round Rock (225.667). Odessa Permian finished 11th with a 217.083.

Central’s Madison Vogel finished first in the women’s all-around with an average score of 77.733.

“(THSGCA) didn’t feel like they could nominate people (as state champions) because obviously not everyone had a chance to compete in the championship,” the head coach said. of Central Tony Walker, who led the Lady Cats to nine state championships. .

“So they named a first and a second team and put your ranking there. And they just opened it up to spread it more, instead of say 24 people being recognized, they opened up these other categories so that more ‘children can be recognized since they haven’t had the opportunity to beat.’

Amanda Martinez of El Paso Bel Air (77.583) finished second in the women’s all-around, followed by Jihra Hill of Euless Trinity (76.50), Jadyn Sawyer of Central (75.917) and Savanna Razani (75.683), who is a senior.

Lady Cats senior Mary Grace Thompson ended her illustrious four-year career finishing tied for sixth with Boswell’s Payton Eck. They both had a 75.617.

Central’s Hailey Smith (74.383) and Anna James (74.25), another senior, finished 11th and 13th respectively.

The Lady Cats were probably having as dominant a season as they had ever had before district, regional and state championships were all canceled.

“It would be No. 10 (in state titles) if we could compete and win,” Walker said. “One of the things the girls pointed out is, ‘At least we’re still reigning state champions (circa 2021).’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s true.’ Nobody beat us this year, so I guess we still are.

“Since we didn’t compete, I won’t count it as a state championship. But I told the kids what we’ll do is we’ll have a banner in the gym that says ‘THSGCA Rated’. #1 by state”. and below that I’m going to put “COVID-19”. This is a time in history that really needs to be documented because it has put all sports under such strain. We were ranked No. 1. We weren’t able to compete and I probably would have come into that state meet with more confidence than any state championship I would have entered.

The Lady Cats coach added: “We were strong and we were only getting better.”

Considering how the season has gone, Walker is grateful for the decisions made by the governing body of Texas high school gymnastics.

“There was nothing they could have done, but they felt they had to give the kids the recognition they deserved and that’s kind of what they could do,” he said. “They didn’t feel like they could name a state champion because things change so much at that point.”

In addition to Razani, Thompson and James, Central’s other senior girls are Valyssa Hartman and Karlee Wallace.

“Losing five seniors, I hate that it ended this way,” Walker said. “But everyone is in the same situation, from pro sports all the way up to Little League. It’s just the nature of the beast and it’s just the way it happened. That’s what it’s all about. ‘East.”

On the boys’ side, Central finished ninth in the team standings with an average of 310.533.

Saginaw High, coached by former central gymnast and former Abilene Cooper head coach Eric Briley, finished first in the boys standings with an average of 335.067.

Rockwall High (326.733) was second, followed by Round Rock (317.167), Odessa High (316.733) and Hurst Bell (316.60). Permian was just behind Central in 10th with a 307.367.

Saginaw’s Joseph Bryant finished first in the men’s all-around with an average of 115.30.

Clayton Staunton of Highland Park (112.733) was second, followed by Luke Muzquiz of Abilene Cooper (110.70), Zach Cochran of Round Rock (110.167) and Adam Knight of Humble Kingwood (109.450).

Central’s Emiliano Hinojos finished 11th with an average of 106.433.

Charles Bryce is a journalist who covers sports in West Texas. Send him a topical tip at [email protected] Consider supporting West Texas journalism by subscribing to GoSanAngelo.com.

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