All three healthy members of Fallbrook High School’s varsity gymnastics team qualified for the CIF meet which was held May 21 at La Costa Canyon High School.
“The fact that they all qualified was really awesome,” said Fallbrook co-coach Kayla Alonso. “I was really happy with it.”
Alonso and co-coach Janeva Sandoval were also happy with the results at the CIF meet. “They did really well,” Sandoval said.
The Warriors finished sixth at the CIF meet in 2008, when Alonso was a senior on the team and Sandoval was a junior on the squad. Fallbrook finished seventh at the 2009 CIF meet. Since six varsity gymnasts are scored to produce the team total, Alonso and Sandoval knew that the Warriors would not return to CIF as a team and focused on improving the skills of the individual gymnasts.
Sophomore Krystal Schmid qualified for the compulsory all-around. Her score of 36.7 at the CIF meet placed her seventh. “I was really pleased with her performance. She was really consistent,” Alonso said. “Almost a 37 for varsity is pretty amazing.”
Schmid scored 9.375 points on the bars to place fifth for that routine, was given 9.325 points for her floor exercise to take ninth place, achieved a score of 9.1 points on the vault to share 13th place, and obtained 8.9 points from the beam to earn 14th place.
Last year Schmid scored 35.475 points on her all-around routine to share 21st place. She did not place in the top 20 in any routine and only had one score higher than nine points, a 9.175-point floor exercise.
Junior Bryanna Cusimano, who is Fallbrook’s optional gymnast this year, qualified for the floor exercise at the CIF meet. Her score of 8.8 points shared tenth place for that event and she tied for 28th place overall while sharing the lead among one-event participants.
“I’m just really proud of her. It was amazing just how much her routine changed throughout the season and how much her score improved,” Alonso said.
Cusimano’s floor routine had a start value of 9.3 points, so she only had half a point deducted. “That was really awesome,” Alonso said. “Throughout the season her floor routine just kept getting better.”
At the league meet Cusimano scored 8.7 points on her floor routine.
Sandoval was Fallbrook’s optional gymnast last year, and Cusimano competed at the compulsory level. Her all-around score of 36.425 points placed 14th at last year’s CIF meet and her score of 9.5 points on the floor exercise gave her 11th place. Last year Sandoval placed third for the floor competition with 9.225 points.
Katie Smith, who is new to the varsity this year, qualified for the CIF meet on the beam. Her score of 7.925 points shared 37th place for that event and she was 85th in the overall scoring which included all-around and other multiple event competitors.
“She had a bit of a rough day. That was actually her lowest score of the season,” Alonso said.
Smith fell during the walkover on the beam. “It’s hard to recover after you’ve fallen so hard, but she was really positive about it,” Alonso said.
Heather Hawthorne is Fallbrook’s official head coach, but on March 26 she gave birth to a baby boy, Sawyer, and Sandoval and Alonso spent the year as the team’s instructors. “It’s a totally different experience being on the coaching end,” Sandoval said. “I’m glad that they respected us on a coach level and a friend level.”
Hawthorne attended the CIF meet with her son but was not involved in the on-floor coaching.
None of the three competitors who completed the season are seniors, and the Warrior gymnasts also include seven junior varsity competitors. Sandoval and Alonso plan to return as Warrior co-coaches in 2011. “It’s going to be awesome,” Sandoval said.
“Hoping to get on campus and start recruiting as many girls as we can,” Alonso said.
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