Sanchez qualifies for regionals |

Sanchez qualifies for regionals

Steve Yingling / Tahoe Daily TribuneKimberly Sanchez, a recent regional gymnastics qualifier, practices her balance beam routine at Tahoe Gymnastics in South Lake Tahoe.

There are athletes who can perform under pressure and there are those who can not.

Kimberly Sanchez of Tahoe Gymnastics falls into the former category. Down to her last vault at the recent Nevada state gymnastics championships in Las Vegas, Sanchez needed a score of at least 8.70 to qualify for the regional championships.

“She tones it down a little bit and sticks it perfectly on her feet. Her score is flashed – an 8.925,” said Tahoe Gymnastics coach Tiffany Seeley. “It was quite a nail-biter.”

Hence, Sanchez, a level-nine gymnast, will compete in the regionals today through Sunday in Long Beach. She’ll participate against gymnasts from Northern California, Southern California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. At stake are six spots to the Westerns on April 29-May 2 in Des Moines, Iowa.

At the state meet, Sanchez finished seventh with an all-around score of 34.225. In addition to placing seventh in vault (8.925), Sanchez finished fifth in balance beam (9.45), fifth in floor exercise (9.05) and seventh on bars (7.80).

Sanchez’s four Tahoe Gymnastics teammates also performed well at the state meet, although they competed at levels that didn’t make them eligible for a regional meet.

Cheyanne Holland put on a show on the beam, claiming third place with a score of 9.525 in the level-six meet. Holland’s four-event total score of 35.70 enabled her to finish seventh in the all-around competition. She also placed ninth on bars (8.525), 10th on vault (8.85) and 11th on floor exercise (8.80).

Tahoe Gymnastics’ Molly Griffith captured 10th place in all-around for level-five competitors. Her total score of 30.80 consisted of ninth place on floor exercise (8.10), 10th place on the vault (8.00), 10th place on beam (8.15) and 10th place on bars (6.55).

Teammates Susan Rush and Kiena Welechenko finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in the level-four all-around. Rush totaled 33.775 by taking ninth on floor exercise (8.825), 12th on bars (8.05), 12th on beam (7.75) and 14th on vault (9.15).

Welechenko thrived on the beam, scoring 8.50 for ninth place. Also, she was 12th on floor exercise (8.625), 13th on vault (9.30) and 14th on bars (7.20) for an all-around score of 33.625.

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