Wildfire Gymnastics concluded its 2015 compulsory competitive season on November 22nd at the Level 3, 4 and 5 SoCal South Section State Championships. This culminating event was held at the San Diego Convention Center. All together, 794 gymnasts participated, they representing some 38 teams.
By weekend’s finish, as part of those 794 gymnasts competing, 2 Wildfire gymnasts found themselves among the top 6 highest scoring All Around athletes of the meet, Ariana Espinoza producing the 3rd highest score of that group of 794 and Dominique Oertel scoring the 6th. Together Wildfire athletes accumulated 80 top three awards, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Eighteen of them were for All Around. That account includes 6 Gold medals for AA, a figure reflecting a greater amount awarded than to any other team at the competition. Seven Wildfire athletes finished out winning All Around Silver medals, an amount also exceeding any other team at the Championships. Five more Wildfire gymnasts ranked 3rd, they as well accumulating more Bronze AA medals than any team at the meet. This great effort brought about State Team Championship finishes, achieving a win for Level 3, a 2nd place ranking for Level 4 and a 4th place standing for Level 5. Wildfire was the only Orange County team to complete the competition recognized has having secured this tri-level achievement, having a team ranked at least among the top four at each level.
Wildfire Team Level 3, won its third State Team Championship in three consecutive seasons. The Level 3 competition consisted of 415 individual participants in all. Singularly, three Wildfire athletes ranked inside the top ten of that roster of 415. The number two scoring Level 3 gymnast of the entire meet, including all age divisions and sessions, was Wildfire’s 6 year old All Around Champion, Arianna Espinoza (38.700, 1st Vault - 9.600, 1st Bars - 9.700, 1st Beam - 9.775, 3rd Floor - 9.625). The other two Wildfire athletes among that top ten AA were 10 year old All Around Champion Brianna Taurek (38.300, 1st Vault - 9.700) and 2nd AA winner, 9 year old Gillian Burrows (38.200, 1st Vault - 9.850!!). Gillian’s 9.850 on Vault was the highest Vault score of the three day competition, including all age groups, sessions and levels. Twenty one Wildfire Level 3 gymnasts competed, they earning 34 top three culminating awards, they being noted for 15 Gold, 10 Silver and 9 Bronze medals. Eight of these were for All Around. Outstanding AA efforts were defined with such work also done by, for instance, 1st place AA winner Lauren Stephens and 2nd place AA finisher, 11 year old Kristina Newton (38.050, 1st Beam - 9.675). All Around Bronze Medalists include, 9 year old Kaylee Ossman (37.875, 1st Beam), 10 year old Bridget Bevan (37.850) and 11 year old Ashley Ables. Standout individual event performances were characteristic of Carly Torres (1st Beam - 9.725!), Abby Callihan (1st Beam) and Level 3 State Vault Champion, Emma Brandon.
Wildfire’s 2015 Level 4 team, ranked 2nd by the end, thus repeating with high level consistency, our finishes of 2013 and 2014. Wildfire’s consistency is indicated by three consecutive seasons as Level 3 State Team Champions, and three consecutive years as Level 4 second place runner ups. There were 275 Level 4 gymnasts competing in San Diego this State Championship weekend. Among them was Wildfire’s Dominique Oertel, she scoring the third highest Level 4 All Around total of the two day competition. Scoring a 38.600, Dominique added wins on Vault (9.650) and Beam (9.850!!!). Thirty six top three medals were awarded to Wildfire athletes encompassing 10 Gold, 17 Silver and 9 Bronze. Eight of them were for All Around. Gold Medal All Around Champions included 12 year old Ella Kim (38.275) and 10 year old Claire MacDonald. Our Silver Medal runner ups feature 12 year old Emily Tjon (38.250), 11 year old Sydney Leitch (38.075) and Lauren Bowers (1st Beam - 9.600). Ten year old Alexa Alcantar completed her meet as the fourth highest scoring Level 4 gymnast representing Wildfire accounting for a 38.225, this number strengthened by a 2nd place 9.800 Beam score. Proud individual event efforts correspond to results showing for example 3rd place All Around finisher Mia Giordano’s Gold Medal performance on Bars for a 9.750, Skylar Ruffner’s wins on Bars (9.750) and Floor (9.700), and double Gold Medalist Mia El-Bayar for her standout work on Beam (9.600) and Floor (9.725).
Winning the 2014 Level 5 Team Championship, in 2015 Wildfire finished 4th. Being a part of 104 total Level 5 gymnasts entered, eight Wildfire girls brought home 10 top three All Around and Individual Event awards including 3 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze. Leading this group of girls to this season’s culminating result were 2015 All Around Gold Medalist and Vault Champion (9.775) Brisa Mariano, 2014 Level 4 State Champion, and presently, the 2015 Level 5 second place AA finalist, Amy Sullivan (2nd Vault - 9.800!) and then also, a 2014 Level 4 State All Around Champion, now currently 5th ranked as a Level 5, Dasha Knobel (2nd Vault - 9.600). Further credit goes to 4th ranked 9 year old Avery Byun as she culminated her 2015 compulsory season with a 1st place Vault Championship.