OLEAN, N.Y. — This past weekend, the YMCA of Corry Tumbling Tigers gymnastics team’s Levels 2 and 3 gymnasts marched onto the floor to compete in the Level 2-3 State Championship Meet, held at the home of Olean-Bradford YMCA gymnastics team.
It was apparent on Saturday that Corry’s Level 3 team saved its best for when it counted most.
Kendra Maker led the charge to the podium as she medaled on beam, floor and vault, with season-high scores on vault (9.200) and floor exercise (8.750).
Maggie Ingram notched personal bests on beam, floor, uneven bars and all-around. She also received special recognition by vote from the judges for her inspiring floor routine.
Brooke Beebe also scored her high on floor and tallied her best score for the all-around. Halle Albers showed consistency through each element. Kiran Bugbee solidified her spot as a national qualifier, for the second year in a row, and also was fifth in the state on vault (9.100).
After a season of steady improvement, the Level 2 team members ramped up their focus and hit personal bests once again. Two gymnasts medaled on vault, Ava Hallberg placing sixth and Kate Slocum placing ninth.
Although Slocum felt that she could have done better, after being declared the league champion on vault two weeks ago, she still recorded personal bests on beam (8.675), floor exercise (8.325) and all-around (32.550).
Hallberg notched a personal best on beam with an 8.550. Aubrey Vanderhoof scored a high on the floor exercise (8.950), which returned her to the podium to closet a medal in that element.
Kyla Frisina scored highs on beam (8.250), floor (8.475) and placed ninth in the state on vault.
Kieran Graves had a personal best (8.450) on floor on her way to a top 10 finish in the All-around in the state.
Alyssa Burlew placed eighth in the state on vault. At the end on the meet, Burlew recorded personal best on every element, including the all-around and a 8.900 on the beam.
Mallorie VanTassel came into the day seeking personal bests and hoping to top 35.000 in the all-around. Her day started with personal best on beam (9.150, sixth place in the state) and floor exercise (9.000, fifth place in the state).
"It was obvious we were watching something special this weekend from all the girls and Mallorie was electrifying the crowd that filled the stands with each routine,” coach Bruce Fielding said. “You could hear the gasps and then applause as she stuck landing after landing."
VanTassel finished the day with a third place finish in the state on uneven bars (8.45). The real excitement happened when VanTassel vaulted her way to the best score in the gym out of all 82 state qualifiers to be crowned state champion with a 9.400. She also took third in the state in the all-round with a 36.000.
"I knew I just had to score a 8.45 and I could reach 36.000," VanTassel said.
"She fought the pressure of the state championships well, and also the pressures of her own expectations,” Fielding said. “She set the bar high and led the charge. All the girls showed grace and poise well beyond their years.”
After a long season and many hours in the gym, five of the Level 2 team qualified for the YMCA national championships: VanTassel (36.000), Vanderhoof (34.850), Graves (34.450), Slocum (32.550) and Hallberg (32.350); and the Level 3 team qualified two girls (Maker 32.850) and Bugbee (32.500).
Next up are league championships and state championships for the Level 4 team in April.