Mountain Magic achieves season highs and program bests at regional meets

May 1—FAIRMONT — On the weekends of April 11-14 and 19-20, members from Mountain Magic Gymnastics teams competed in regional competitions, some with chances to go even further in their seasons.

According to team coach Gary Rafaloski, Mountain Magic hit on 22 of its 25 routines throughout the regional meets.

Level 10 and 9 team members competed at Nittany Valley Sports Center in State College, Pa. April 11-14. Level 10 gymnast Sophia Balko advanced to the national meet by placing sixth all-around.

Also in Level 10, Anna Bowsher and Allie Howell achieved season high all-around scores but didn't reach nationals. Bowsher scored 35.7 all-around after scoring a 9.0 or more in three events. Howell scored a 36.6 all-around and likewise scored a 9.0 or more in three events.

Level 9's Markley White didn't make it to the Eastern Championships but did reach a new season high score on the vault. White scored a 9.025.

On April 19-20 at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., Level 8 Brooke Naternicola represented Mountain Magic in the Super 8 team competition where the best eight gymnasts compete from each state in the region.

Naternicola achieved the highest ever all-around score by a Mountain Magic team member in Super 8 with a 37.075. She placed in the Top 10 in three of the four events and scored higher than a 9.0 in all four. Her best event was a seventh-place finish on the floor exercise, scoring 9.4.

With the regionals behind then, Balko advances to the nationals at the Volusia County Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. Nationals are from May 9-12. Rafaloski said this will be Balko's career finale as she will be graduating high school at the end of the school year. She has signed a letter of intent to compete on the gymnastics team at Kent State University.

Reach Colin C. Rhodes at 304-367-2548