Five girls from Flip City competed for team Arizona at the Xcel Regional Championship over the weekend in Lemoore, California (May 19-20). The Arizona team won the meet.
Adrianna Moody, Lexi Harmelink, Vanessa Ramirez, and Jeralyn McQuaid made the Arizona team by performing well and earning high marks at the Xcel state meet a few months ago. Aspen Stanton joined the Arizona team as an alternate.
Autumn Stanton and Marina Diaz also made the trip to central California to compete, but their scores did not contribute to Arizona's team score.
"Out of 22 girls representing Arizona, five came from our gym," said Flip City trainer Jared Cummins. "Seeing our girls raise the team trophy for Arizona was mind blowing, but I can't say I'm shocked. These girls put in so much hard work and show so much dedication to the sport-to see them accomplish what they did was incredibly gratifying."
Cummins and Flip City Director Dianne Upham have big plans for the talent coming up in Cottonwood; they'd like to provide them the opportunity to compete in college. To obtain scholarships, the girls must perform outstanding in the Junior Olympic program (separate from Xcel).
The Xcel regional in California was the first of its kind and a huge success. Upham likes Xcel because she says it helps keep girls in gymnastics. She used it as a tool to help refine and motivate some of her promising gymnasts to better prepare them for Junior Olympic competition.
"I feel like I don't need to do Xcel anymore," said Adrianna Moody Monday after the regional. "I want to get back to the regular routines and start at level six again."
Moody took first in her division in California. Upham has always seen a lot of promise in Moody because she's incredibly graceful and flexible, but she lacked some technical elements and Upham put Moody in Xcel.
"Adrianna was state champion at level five on beam and floor, but bars has always been her weakest event," said Upham. "What was nice about Xcel, it kept her competing. It kept her working on those skills that she needed for level six."
One of the skills Moody needed to be ready for level six was a back walkover on beam. She's got it now and it looks pretty (See Picture). She'll be earning even higher marks on beam because of it.
Vanessa Ramirez also placed first all around in her division at Xcel regionals.
"I know Vanessa is level six now. She's ready," said Upham, "and I think she'll do very well."
Flying for the first time, Ramirez was nervous heading to the meet, but she said the trip back was easier.
After school Monday the Flip City regional team got a treat - they were picked up from school in a limousine. Younger Flip City kids greeted them with congratulatory signs as they stepped out of the luxurious white ride before practice.
"I felt like I was famous," said Ramirez.
Jackie McQuaid, Jeralyn's mom, paid for the cost of the limo and the other parents chipped in for the tip. They wanted their kids to feel special, and it worked.
Here are the scores the young ladies earned at the Xcel regional.
Name, Team, Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor, All Around score (Place in division)
Adrianna Moody, AZ State Team, 9.600 (2), 9.175 (2T), 9.675 (1), 9.475 (1), 37.925 (1)
Jeralyn McQuaid, AZ State Team, 9.650 (1), 9.075 (4T), 9.300 (3T), 9.175 (6), 37.200 (2)
Aspen Stanton, AZ State Team, 9.325 (3), 9.100 (6), 9.025 (2), 9.525 (1), 36.975 (2)
Vanessa Ramirez, AZ State Team, 9.375 (1), 9.400 (1), 9.025 (1), 9.050 (3), 36.850 (1)
Marina Diaz, Flip City, 9.400 (1), 8.825 (4T), 8.975 (2), 9.400 (1), 36.600 (1)
Autumn Stanton, Flip City, 9.300 (4), 8.700 (7), 9.350 (1), 9.025 (3T), 36.375 (2)
Lexi Harmelink, AZ State Team, 9.350 (1T), 9.225 (4T), 8.625 (7), 9.000 (7), 36.200 (5)