Top Flight tries new maneuvers at competition

Recreation roundup

March 04, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

The Top Flight Gymnastics Club of Columbia played host last weekend at the Columbia Challenge Women's Invitational at the University of Maryland's North Gym.

But the local team was anything but a cordial host.

Top Flight pulled out a variety of new and previously untested maneuvers, en route to another stellar performance.

"The teams did well," said Top Flight owner and optionals coach Dale Kaestner, who said many team members tried higher-risk skills in preparation for April's state meet. "We put a lot of new, more difficult elements into the routines. I'd say they hit about 75 percent of their new skills."

The team boasted 13 gymnasts with scores of 32.0 or above in the all-around, as it finished high in the pack of the 18-team field, representing East Coast states from New England to the Carolinas.

Fifteen-up gymnast Marcene James led the way. Despite feeling the lingering effects of the flu, James, competing in Level nine competition, took fourth in the uneven bars (8.8) and vault (8.65) to help her to a third-place finish in the all-around with a 34.10.

Level eight gymnast Kierney Hiteshew, in the 9-11 age group, had even more success, taking second in the floor exercise (9.05), third on the bars (8.75) and fourth on the vault (8.65) and beam (8.60) for a 35.05 and a third-place finish in the all-around.

Yael and Aliza Sollins fared well in the Level seven compulsory, 8-11 group. Yael Sollins scored 9.1 on the bars (third) and floor (first) to finish fourth all-around with a 34.15. Aliza Sollins took fourth on the bars with a 9.1 and seventh all-around with a 32.60.

In the 12-14 group, Shauna Swem stole the show, winning the vault (9.4) and the floor (8.8), taking fourth on the bars (8.85) and sixth on the beam (7.95) en route to a first-place finish in the all-around with a 35.0.

The team has similar success in Level 6 competition, where 8-11 gymnasts Megan Miller and Daria Hay finished fifth and sixth in the all-around. Miller won the beam (9.30) and took ninth on the floor (8.95) on her way to a 34.85, and Hay took second on the beam (9.05) 10th on the bars (8.6) and 11th on the floor (8.85) en route to a 34.75.

Teammate Jennifer Chairs also took 13th in the vault (8.85) and 15th in the beam (8.35) for a 32.95 all-around.

Other Top Flight gymnasts competing in all four events were Abby Jones (32.45), Maura Markowitz (30.45), Gina Califano (33.85), Rachel Gealy (33.55), Lindsey Boyer (31.0), Stephanie Thielan (32.55) and Jennifer Hanna (34.9).

In her first meet, Gabrielle Federline scored a 22.95 in the Level five 7-8 group.


* 11-12 girls: The Columbia Champs finished regular-season play in the Arbutus League last weekend with a 36-25 win over Severna Park White.

After an early defensive battle left the score tied at 2-2 at the end of the first quarter, the Champs exploded on offense, scoring 19 and taking a double-digit lead.

Crystal Driessen led Columbia with 17 points, Jessie Oster added eight, Lindsey Mitchell four and La Toya Hines three. Monica Serianni, Shara Hamlin, Ruchi Mital, Michelle Jenkins and Katie Lee played well defensively.

* Under-14 girls: The Green Machine took over first place in the Columbia Basketball Association last weekend with a 24-16 win over the Orioles.

Faith Munsinger led all scorers with 11 points and Sara Pierson added nine. Brooke James led the

Orioles with eight points and Angie Robertson added four.

The Green Machine broke open a tight game with a 14-0 second-quarter run.

* Adult: The playoff pairings are set in the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks Men's Winter Basketball League, Tuesday "C" Division.

After Tuesday night's final regular-season games, in which Team Ugly, the Rainmen, Certified Packaging and Laidlaw Environmental all scored victories, the seedings were finalized.

Next Tuesday at Clarksville Middle School, top seed Team Ugly (7-1, 131 points) will take on eighth seed Laidlaw Environmental (1-7) at 8:15, then fourth seed North American Mortgage (5-3) will play fifth seed Ryland Mortgage (3-5) at 9:15.

In the other bracket at Harpers Choice, Certified Packaging (5-3), the tournament's third seed, will meet sixth seed HCPOA (2-6) at 8:15, followed by the second seed Rainmen (7-1) and the seventh seed Clean Harbors (2-6) at 9:15.

The semifinals will be held the following Tuesday; the championship game will be March 23.


To submit Howard County recreation information, call or fax (410) 521-0505.

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