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Gymnastics Reprise--Eagle Rock Wins Again

“As Time Goes By,” the tune better known as the one Humphrey Bogart wanted Sam to play again in “Casablanca,” continually reverberated through the Grant High gym Thursday night during the floor exercises at the City Section girls’ gymnastics team championship.

It was an appropriate theme for the evening as Eagle Rock maintained its long-playing dominance by winning its fourth consecutive title.

The second-seeded Eagles finished with 161.15 points, outdistancing Cleveland (154.45) and Wilson (149.15).

“We did just as well as I had hoped,” Coach Jan Fries said. “We worked really hard for it.”

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Eagle Rock has reached the finals seven consecutive years and was runner-up three times before starting its championship reign.

“This is an individual sport, but we practice as a team,” Fries said. “There’s so much going on in practice, I can’t be everywhere, but the better gymnasts help the younger ones, and then they want to be like them.”

The Eagles finished with the top scores in three of four events, losing only to Cleveland in the vault. Eagle Rock was particularly strong on the uneven parallel bars, posting five of the top six scores, including Lorna Soulier’s 8.75.

“Bobbie Dudley, Sam Persi and and Sue Jin Hwang also did very well for us,” Fries said. “We have a lot of depth and that helps us because if one drops off, someone else will pick us up.”

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However, Cleveland, in only its third year of competition, served notice it would be a credible challenger in the years ahead.

Cleveland had entered the meet as the No. 1-seeded team by virtue of its higher average scores during the regular season, despite two losses to Northern Valley League rival Eagle Rock.

Sophomore Melanie Horne was Cleveland’s top performer with a meet-high 9.1 on the vault, 8.25 on the uneven parallel bars and 8.6 on the balance beam.

This was Cleveland’s first trip to the final.

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“The kids from the other teams have been here before, and the experience really helps” Coach Ellen Strong said. “We have a lot of work to do, but you haven’t heard the last from us.”


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