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Warrior gymnasts making progress


Last updated 8/16/2007 at Noon

Fallbrook High School’s girls gymnastics team continued its rebuilding efforts during the 2007 season, winning two of seven matches while sending two individuals to the CIF meet.

“It isn’t that bad,” said Fallbrook coach Debbie Mericle. “I think we did pretty good.”

In 2006 the Warriors had only eight gymnasts. Only three of those competed on the varsity level, not enough to earn a full score for the team.

In 2007 the Warriors returned to Fallbrook High School for the first time in five years. The equipment at the high school didn’t meet standards, so the Warriors at one time held home meets at the Fallbrook Gymnastics Club and became the host team at the opponent’s school once the school team was no longer able to use the club’s facilities. This year the Warriors hosted two meets at the high school while three scheduled home meets were moved to other schools due to superior bars.

The 2007 squad consisted of 21 members, 12 of whom competed on the varsity level. Only three of those 21 gymnasts were seniors. Up to ten gymnasts compete for a high school team, and one optional gymnast and the top five compulsory gymnasts are scored for each team. Because Fallbrook did not have an optional gymnast, the Warriors were not able to obtain the points for the optional performance, so the lack of those points was also a factor in Fallbrook’s record.

The Warriors hosted Westview High School on March 13 and earned a 147.2-101.65 victory. During that meet Fallbrook junior Kayla Alonso had the top all-around score.

During the Warriors’ final meet, the varsity girls averaged scores of 8.0 or better for each event. “I was very proud of that,” Mericle said.

With three scores of at least 9.0 on the bars, Linda Duling qualified for the CIF meet. Duling earned a fourth score of at least nine points at the league meet; her 9.125 gave her second in that event at the league championship.

The league meet also gave Fallbrook a second gymnast at the CIF finals when Alonso posted an all-around score of 33.85 to place second. Alonso didn’t place in the floor competition but was sixth on the bars, sixth on the beam, and seventh on the vault.

“That’s very good. I was very excited,” Mericle said of Alonso qualifying for CIF at the league meet.

Duling was fourth in the vault at the league meet while Lindsey Ice placed fifth on the vault.

The trip to the CIF championships was the first for Alonso. Duling also competed in the 2006 CIF meet. With only two qualifying gymnasts the Warriors placed 15th; Alonso’s all-around score of 34.350 gave her 31st place while Duling’s 9.275 on the bars was worth a tie for 18th.

“CIF was awesome. The girls had a good time,” Mericle said.

Duling was one of 94 gymnasts who were scored on the bars. “I think it’s very good,” Mericle said of 18th place.

The Warriors will have their own bars for the 2008 season. The gymnastics team raised $3,800 for new bars. “We will be buying bars in September,” Mericle said. “I’m excited.”

Mericle also had 49 eighth-graders express interest in being on the 2008 team. “I’m looking forward to next year,” she said. “The more I know and the more I’m able to teach them, the better we can be.”


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