Reigning Champions Defend Titles at WPIAL Gymnastics Championships
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Moon Township, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) completed a busy week of winter championships this past Friday and Saturday, as it hosted the WPIAL Gymnastics Team and Individual Championships at Moon High School. The team championship featured a six-team field on Friday, while 103 student-athletes competed in Saturday’s individual championships across three divisions.
Moon’s title in team competition was its second consecutive and eighth in school history. This is the fourth different time that the Tigers have defended their title, with 2023 joining 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2022 in their trophy case.
Baldwin’s Abby Rexrode was also a repeat victor individually, capturing the all-around gold medal in the Advanced division. Rexrode, who took home wins in the uneven bars and balance beam, is the 10th different student-athlete to win multiple WPIAL all-around championships. She joins Quaker Valley’s Tabitha Bemis (2007-08), North Allegheny’s Katie Maranuk (2002-03), North Allegheny’s Anne St. Clair (2000-01), Baldwin’s Mary DeFrancesco (1997-98), North Allegheny’s Jamie Davic (1993-95), North Allegheny’s Angie Evans (1986-88), Baldwin’s Kim Calderone (1983-84), and Butler’s Bev Fry (1980, 1982) among multiple winners. Her all-around gold was the 11th for Baldwin as a program.
LINK: 2023 WPIAL Gymnastics Team Championships Results
LINK: 2023 WPIAL Gymnastics Individual Championships Results
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP
Moon defended its WPIAL gymnastics team championship on Friday evening, winning all four events to post a score of 144.842 to pace the six-team field.
The Tigers bested runner-up Pine-Richland, who scored 140.599 and finished second in the vault, uneven bars, and balance beam. Baldwin took second in the floor exercise and placed third overall with a tally of 140.383, while Thomas Jefferson (136.351), Central Valley (134.642), and West Allegheny (133.792) rounded out the running order.
In vault, Ashley Hudzinski posted a score of 9.550 to lead Moon, with Hayley Bates’ 9.525 right behind her. Bates led the Tigers in the uneven bars and balance beam with respective tallies of 9.217 and 9.200, and Piper Gillespie was the team’s top scorer in floor exercise at 9.325.
Pine-Richland’s top scorers included Anna Maria Samuels in the vault (9.400), Ana Constantakis in the uneven bars (9.483), and Nadia Constantakis in both the balance beam (9.100) and floor exercise (9.150).
For third-place Baldwin, Abby Rexrode led the Highlanders in all four events with scores of 9.450 in vault, 9.517 in uneven bars, 9.550 in balance beam, and 9.450 in floor exercise.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP – ADVANCED DIVISION
With victories in the uneven bars and balance beam, Baldwin’s Abby Rexrode defended her all-around title in the Advanced division on Saturday afternoon, finishing with a total of 38.225 points to best runner-up Daisy Lewis of Freedom Area by 0.125.
Rexrode recorded scores of 9.650 in the balance beam and 9.525 in the uneven bars to win both events. She also netted runner-up efforts in the floor exercise (9.600) and vault (9.450).
Lewis won the vault and floor exercise with respective scores of 9.725 and 9.625, defending her 2022 titles in both events. She finished second in the balance beam (9.500) and fifth in the uneven bars (9.250).
Third place in both the all-around standings and a trio of events was Moon’s Hayley Bates. Bates finished with a final score of 37.525, netting bronze medals in the balance beam (9.450), floor exercise (9.425), and vault (9.300), and a silver medal in the uneven bars (9.350).
Also receiving medals for all-around on the six-person podium were fourth-place Nadia Constantakis of Pine-Richland (36.850), fifth-place Piper Gillespie of Moon (36.800), and sixth-place Meghan Kelly of Hopewell (36.625).
There was a total of 19 competitors in the Advanced division from 11 different schools (Baldwin, Freedom Area, Hopewell, Montour, Moon, Mt. Pleasant, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Thomas Jefferson, West Allegheny).
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP – INTERMEDIATE I DIVISION
Moon’s Aubrey Marasco was the gold medalist in all-around for the Intermediate I division on Saturday afternoon, registering a score of 35.250. Baldwin’s Ashley Brown placed second with a mark of 34.675, and West Allegheny’s Sydney Svihla finished third with a score of 34.425.
Marasco won the balance beam with a tally of 9.125 and finished second in the vault (9.000). She also scored finishes of fourth in the floor exercise (9.025) and eighth in the uneven bars (8.100).
Brown’s top event finish was a third-place effort in the vault (8.950), while Svilha scored a third-place finish in the balance beam (8.975).
The vault was won by Pine-Richland’s Anna Maria Samuels with a score of 9.500, which was the best mark across all three divisions. Moon’s Lola Mayo posted an 8.700 to top the field in the uneven bars, while Beaver’s Alexandra Biela won the floor exercise with a score of 9.125.
There was a total of 33 competitors in the Intermediate I division from 16 different schools (Baldwin, Beaver, Central Valley, Fort Cherry, Greensburg Salem, Hopewell, Montour, Moon, North Allegheny, North Hills, Penn-Trafford, Peters Township, Pine-Richland, South Side, Thomas Jefferson, West Allegheny).
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP – INTERMEDIATE II DIVISION
With two runner-up event finishes and a third-place effort, Moon’s Lila VanArsdale claimed the all-around title in the Intermediate II division on Saturday morning with a score of 34.125. She was followed by Central Valley’s Sydney Slater (33.400) and Bethel Park’s Lacey Hartman (33.300) on the leaderboard.
VanArsdale scored an 8.450 in the uneven bars, 8.675 in the floor exercise, and an 8.650 in the balance beam. She finished 13th in the vault with a score of 8.500.
Slater’s top finish was fifth in the balance beam (8.475), while Hartman placed fourth in the vault (8.700).
Seton LaSalle’s Cassidy Rega registered the division’s top score in the vault with an 8.925. Moon’s Angelina Schild topped the field in uneven bars (8.450), and Lincoln Park’s Ava Rossi scored an 8.850 to lead at the balance beam. West Allegheny’s Raygan McKay tallied a 9.000 to win the floor exercise.
There was a total of 51 competitors in the Intermediate II division from 20 different schools (Baldwin, Beaver, Bethel Park, Burrell, Central Valley, Fox Chapel, Greensburg Salem, Hopewell, Kiski Area, Lincoln Park, Montour, Moon, North Allegheny, North Hills, Penn-Trafford, Seton LaSalle, South Fayette, South Side, Thomas Jefferson, West Allegheny).
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