Wildfire Gymnastics concluded its 2017 compulsory competitive season on November 17 at the Level 3, 4 and 5 SoCal South Section State Championships. This culminating event was held at the San Diego Town and Country Convention Center. All together, 757 gymnasts participated, they representing some 40 teams.

By weekend’s finish, as part of those 794 gymnasts competing, 3 Wildfire gymnasts finished out among the top 3 highest scoring All Around athletes of the meet, Ava Malani Franco producing the highest score of that group of 794. Thi Nguyen and Arianna Espinoza ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively. Together Wildfire athletes accumulated 109 top three awards, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Twenty three of them were for All Around. That account includes 10 Gold medals for AA, a figure reflecting a greater amount awarded those from any other team at the competition. Eight Wildfire athletes finished out winning All Around Silver medals, an amount also exceeding that from any other team at the Championships. In fact Wildfire girls accumulated 46 Gold medal victories in all, an amount of individual State Championships exceeding those from any other team competing. This great effort brought about State Team Championship finishes, Wildfire being the only team at the Championships to complete the competition recognized has having secured this tri-level achievement, having a team ranked no less than among the top two at each of the three levels, Level 3, 4 and 5.

According to MyMeetScores.com, a data base for nation wide meet results, Wildfire is ranked 1st among its list of Top 100 Level 5 teams in the country for 2017. From 119 total Level 5 gymnasts entered in the State Championships, 2 Wildfire girls ranked 1st and 2nd, among that group of 119. Along with an additional athlete, they together, finished as corresponding age group All Around Champions. Leading the cause this time around was 2016 Level 4 AA Champion and now the 2017, 10 year old Level 5 All Around Champion, Thi Nguyen. She did this by posting a 9.750 event average for a standout 39.000 AA total!! (2nd Vault - 9.600, 1st Bars - 9.800, 1st Beam - 9.850 and 1st Floor - 9.750). Thi’s Floor score was the highest among the Level 5’s, encompassing all age groups. the meet high on Second among that list of 119 gymnasts was 8 year old All Around Champion, Arianna Espinoza (38.975), she adding up essentially a 9.750 average for a complete Gold Medal sweep of events (1st Vault - 9.725, Bars - 9.775, Beam - 9.825 and Floor - 9.650)!! Wildfire’s third Level 5 All Around Champion this year was 2016 Level 4 State AA winner Addie Anderson. Individual event Gold Medalists include Vault Champions all, 11 year old Malia Todd (9.725), 10 year old Molly Osborne (9.650) and Ailani Tran. State Vault Champion, Malia Todd ended her season experience with the foremost Vault score of the Level 5 competition, including all age groups.

Wildfire’s Level 4 team, finished, by the end, as the State Team Championship 1st runner up. There were 255 Level 4 gymnasts competing in San Diego. Thirty three top 3 medals were awarded to 16 Wildfire athletes encompassing 12 Gold, 10 Silver and 11 Bronze. Seven of them were for All Around of which 3 were for AA Gold. Gold Medal All Around Champions included 10 year old, B division’s Sara McLaughlin (37.800, 1st Bars - 9.850!!, 1st Floor - 9.550), 11A Kaylee Ossman (37.575) and Kristina Newton (1st Bars - 9.600). Our three Silver Medal runner ups feature 10B Erin Chen (37.900, 1st Beam - 9.775), 11 year old Gillian Burrows (37.800, 1st Vault - 9.550) and 8 year old Emma Le (37.450, 1st Beam - 9.000, 1st Floor - 9.600). Emma and Erin were each 2016’s Level 3 AA Champions. And rounding out our top 3 AA award finishers was 11 year old All Around Bronze Medalist Makena Jarrett (37.550). Standout individual event Gold Medal performances highlight Vault winner Annie Lin (9.550) and Bar Champion, Grace Hassenplug (9.750!).

Wildfire Team Level 3, won its fifth State Team Championship in the last six years. The Level 3 competition consisted of 357 individual participants in all. Singularly, two Wildfire athletes, Ava-Malani Franco and Katie Dobbert Madson, ranked as the top two of that roster of 357. Twenty eight Wildfire Level 3 gymnasts competed, they earning 53 top three culminating awards, they being noted for 20 Gold, 16 Silver and 17 Bronze medals. Ten of these were for All Around. This outstanding cumulative AA effort was defined with such good work done by, for instance, 1st place All Around winner, Ava-Malani Franco. Accounting for an extraordinary 9.800 event average, 9 year old Ava-Malani finishes out with the highest AA total of the meet, including all Levels and age groups (39.250!!!, 1st Vault - 9.825, 1st Beam - 9.875). Ava-Malani in turn posted also the meet high on Vault, Beam and Floor. Wildfire teammate, 8 year old Katie Dobbert Madson had posted herself a remarkable 9.700 event average for AA Gold (38.850!!, 1st Vault - 9.800!, 1st Bars - 9.850! and 1st Beam - 9.700). Our third of four All Around Gold Medalists was Logan Welsh, her 9.6 average reflecting a nice finish with a 38.450 AA total. And finally, Mia Chen, with her 9.700 Gold Medal Vault win ranks 1st All Around as the 9C division’s 2017 Level 3 State Champion. Adding to that list of State Champions are first place event winners and AA Silver Medalists : Skyler Cazale (2nd AA - 38.375 - 1st Vault - 9.800!), Joelle Geffeney (2nd AA - 38.350, 1st Floor - 9.650), Natalia San Jose (2nd AA - 38.150, 1st Vault - 9.775) and Katie Bieger (2nd AA - 38.125, 1st Bars - 9.725). Standout performances resulted in four more individual event State Championship title holders, they being Adrienne Fleener (1st Floor - 9.650), Paola Aguilar (1st Vault - 9.625), Leilani Joy Julian (1st Vault - 9.775) and Maylee Chen (1st Vault - 9.800).