MOULTRIE -- With the Moultrie YMCA gymnasts turning in 12 scores of 9.0 or better and more than half of them scoring 31 points or better on their all around scores, coach Pat Murphy had this to say about the team's performance in the recent Sunbelt Shindig: "It was a great day."
"With the help of a great parents club, the Moultrie MG gymnasts held their own on their home court advantage," Murphy said.
Murphy also awarded a balance beam and uneven bar champion trophy to the gymnast who produced the highest score regardless of age group in each level.
The Moultrie team had a level 3 uneven bar champion in Gwenda Hendrick, who scored a 9.05.
The level 3 team took second place behind the Albany YMCA.
The team was led by Haley Cash, who was first all around with a 33.725. She also was first on vault with an 8.95; bars, 8.875; beam, 7.95; and second on floor.
"Haley has improved each meet," Murphy said. "Her bars were beautiful."
Hendrick was the team's next strongest gymnast, scoring a 33.55 all around for first in the 9-year-old age group. She also was first on bars, with a 9.05; first on floor, 8.25; and second on beam, 8.2.
"She is really starting to learn how to perform," Murphy said.
Lindsey Stapleton was the third strongest level 3 gymnast, scoring a 32.05 all around to place fourth in the 9-year-old age group.
"Lindsey worked hard on vault all week prior to the meet," coach Patti Merritt said. "She placed third and scored an 8.75. She took the advice of optional coach Bob Swadel and made the corrections to pull off a group vault."
Camille Kirkland, another first-timer, scored Moultrie's highest floor score, 8.65 for second place.
"Her floor was graceful and elegant," Merritt said.
Clara Gene Vines was first on vault with an 8.85 in the 8-year old age group.
"Her vault form was very tight," Merritt said. "In her very first meet, her vault score counted toward our team trophy."
Laura Hewitt's beam score, a 7.55 for first place, also helped the team score. Her vault score of 8.55 was a personal best.
"Laura looks confident on beam," Merritt said.
Anna Hartley broke her personal vault record by scoring an 8.35 for seventh place. Betsy Booth's strongest event also was the vault with an 8.5 for fourth place.
It was the first level 3 meet for Allison Fagan, who scored an 8.55 in vault for second. She was sixth all around with a 29.7.
Hanna Friedlander was seventh all around with a 30.025; Unna Yared was seventh all around with a 28.65; and MaKayli Crawford was third all around with a 28.1.
The level 4 team was fourth with its highest score of the season, a 104.125 that included eight 9s on vault.
"These girls looked good," Merritt said. "Our bars and floor scores really improved."
It was the first USA level 4 meet for Savannah Morgan, who had a 31.15 all around for sixth place. She had a 9.05 for fourth on vault.
Auburn Williams had a 32.1 all around for eighth; a 9.15 on vault for fourth.
Brooke Robinson was fourth all around with a 34.1 and had a 9.3 for first on vault and an 9.5 on floor for third. Her beam and floor scores counted toward the team score.
Chandler Melton place second in the all around with a 34.125 in the 12-and-up age group and led the level 4 team.
"Her bars (8.975 for second place) were by far her best ever and her vault is top-notch," Murphy said.
Heather Harvell had her highest all around of the season with a 33.75 for sixth place. He vault, 9.25 for fourth, beam, 8.2 for sixth, also helped in breaking the team's scoring record.
"Heather is high on toe, which adds to the beauty of her beam routine," Merritt said.
Kristin Whitman was the team's highest-scoring vaulter with a 9.45 for first place in the 10-11 age group.
She also was the team top's floor scorer with an 8.6 for third place and broke her all around record with a 33.7.
"Kristin has a style as she performs," Murphy said. "You just want to watch her."
Miranda Fletcher had an excellent day, scoring her highest on four of the five events.
She was first on floor with an 8.45; third on vault, with a 9.1; third on bars with an 8.75; and fifth all around with a 33.3.
In her bars routine, Saige Frazier performed a kip, a difficult skill that adds an extra point to a routine's start value.
Her 8.3 for fifth place was he highest bar score and counted toward the team score.
"She is a determined gymnast, willing to work hard to achieve her scores," Murphy said.
Frazier also had her best vault score, a 9.15 for ninth.
Mary Catherine Plymel scored her best all around score, a 32.15 for seventh place.
She had an 8.8 on vault for sixth place; 8.0 on bars, for sixth; and 8.15 on floor, for sixth place.
"She has just come back to our team with a strong performance in only her third meet," Murphy said.
Welli Kundi broke two of her own records with a 7.45 on beam for sixth place and n 8.45 on floor for second place.
"She is becoming a good tumbler," Merritt said. "She has a lot of jumping ability."
Bethia Dawson scored a 31.0 all around for 14th and had a personal best on bars with a 6.8 for 14th.
Merritt said Dawson's strength is her dance ability. She scored an 8.4 for fifth on floor.
Taylor Marie Griner had her highest all around score, a 27.2. she had an 8.85 on vault for 10th place and a 7.1 on bars, also for 10th place.
"She is doing well for her first year at this level," Merritt said.
Susannah Harvell did not compete because of a broken finger.
Missoma Kundi was the level 5 team's top gymnast with a 33.05 all around.
"She is a quiet worker in the gym," Murphy said. "She tries hard to improve all her events."
Kundi was second on floor, with an 8.65; third on beam, with an 8.1; fourth on vault, with an 8.5; and sixth on bars, with a 7.8, a personal best.
Meghan Merritt was the team's next leading scorer with a 32.95 all around for first place in the 7-8 age group.
She led the team in two events, scoring a 9.0 for first place in both the vault and bars.
"She has been giving it her all in practice," said volunteer coach Wendy Scites.
Murphy said Merritt "can swing bars better than anyone in our gym."
Merritt also placed first on beam with a 7.85 and second on floor with a 7.1.
All four of Laci Jarrell's scores counted toward the team total and her 31.65 all around was a personal best.
She was second on vault with an 8.65, fifth on bars with a 7.95 and sixth on floor with an 8.05.
All were record-breaking scores for her.
"Laci's strongest event is vault, because she runs fast," Murphy said.
Kaylynn Pifer competed in her second level 5 meet and was team's second-highest scorer on bars with an 8.1 for sixth place.
She also had her top vault score, an 8.2 for ninth place.
"Kaylynn loves bars and it shows in her score," Murphy said.
The Moultrie YMCA's top level 6 gymnast was Kambria Blakely, who placed second all around with a 33.825. Her highest finish was third on bars with an 8.025. Her highest score was on vault with a 9.0 for fifth place.
"She had a good meet and will be working on level skills to compete in the spring," Murphy said.
Laura Hill Bannister had an 8.55 in vault for fifth place, and improvement of more than one point, which "is a lot in gymnastics," Murphy said.
"It was a wonderful, tight vault."
Her all around score also improve to 28.75, for sixth place.
The meet ended the compulsory season and the gymnasts will begin working on the next level's skills.
"My goal is to have several gymnasts qualify for YMCA Nationals next July," Murphy said.
"With lots of work and a good attitude, we will be going to my home state, Wisconsin."