Two Orange County gymnasts finished among the top five in the all-around competition Saturday at the Southern Section gymnastics finals at Brea-Olinda High.
Capistrano Valley senior Erin Powell was second, and her teammate, senior Trisha Daley, was a surprise third in the all-around, behind Palos Verdes Peninsula’s Amy Ezell and ahead of Elissa Palmer of Los Angeles Marlborough and Michelle Tschirky of Long Beach Wilson, who tied for fourth.
Powell, third in the competition in 1993, finished first in the beam, with a score of 9.55; second on the parallel bars (9.20); sixth in floor exercise (9.20), and tied for ninth on the vault (8.55) for a total of 36.5, .775 behind Ezell.
Daley, who didn’t place among the top three in the South Coast League all-around, was dumbfounded by her performance. “I don’t even know how . . . I just don’t know,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of injuries this year. It made my senior year good.”
Daley was fourth in the vault, with an 8.9; fourth on the beam (9.125); fifth on the bars (8.65), and seventh on the floor (9.05) for a 35.725 total.
Ezell, the top performer of the day, did not compete as a high school freshman because Palos Verdes High did not have a gymnastics team. When her school combined with Rolling Hills to form Peninsula, she joined the team and placed fourth in the section as a sophomore.
Last year, she fell off the beam--her favorite event--and finished second in the finals. But this year, Ezell said, “it saved me.” After finishing first in the vault and the bars, Ezell’s 9.5 on the beam was only .05 off Powell’s top score and kept her in the top spot going into the floor exercise.
Ezell sat calmly, waiting for 40 other girls to compete. Only two gymnasts were left by the time she stood up for her routine, but it didn’t faze her.
Ezell gave a relaxed, light-footed performance and finished fourth with a score of 9.325, .025 behind third-place Krista Dalton of Capistrano Valley.