Saint Francis best in CCS for 15th time
By: VYTAS MAZEIKA Daily News Staff Writer
Posted May 21
The was no surprise ending at Twisters Gym in Mountain View on Thursday, home of the Saint Francis gymnastics team. The Lancers extended their streak of Central Coast Section championships with their 13th title (15th overall), with freshman Kelsey Celaya winning the all-around title.
“I’m fortunate,” Saint Francis coach Lynn Horiye said. “I just knew that she was a Level 8 for club. And then she told me she likes vaults and bars, and that’s great.”
Celaya was fourth in the bars and won the vault with a pike tsukuhara that Horiye described as almost in a layout position. The judges scored the vault at 9.825.
“It’s as good a vault as you’re going to see at the high school level,” Horiye said. “It’s incredible.”
Saint Francis won with 148.150 points with runner-up Lowell- San Francisco nearly two points behind. Los Altos was third with 140.750 points and Gunn-Palo Alto placed fifth.
“The competition was a lot steeper from last year,” Los Altos coach Shannon Thoke said. “We knew that Saint Francis and Lowell would be tough. They have some key club gymnasts and our squad got small this year.”
Los Altos featured sophomore Emma Orner, last year’s champion in the balance beam. This time Orner took third with a score of 9.675, while Celaya and Saint Francis teammate Julia Foust tied for sixth at 9.550.
“Beam is very stressful because people often fall off, and Emma is very consistent with her beam performances,” Thoke said.
Orner placed 14th in the all around after suffering a fall in the bars after she attempted a bonus skill. Los Altos junior Kelli Yamaguma pulled off giants on bars for the first time in competition and was sixth on the floor to finish with a personal best in the all-around of 36.850, which was good for eighth.
“She didn’t have any bobbles or jumps,” Thoke said of Yamaguma’s floor routine. “From last year to this year, she’s improved a lot.”
Celaya won the all-around with 38.025 points, with Gunn’s Natalie Byun sixth at 37.100.
Foust, a junior, tied for 10th in the all-around.
“Julia is tough mentally,” Horiye said. “She stayed on the beam when we needed her to.”
Saint Francis sophomore Amanda Tsukushi was third on the vault with a score of 9.075 and 12th in the allaround, with Lancers freshman Abby Purnell one spot behind her.