Perez Wins Spanish All-Around Crown

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17-year-old Ana Perez won her first Spanish national all-around title in the senior division at Spanish Championships in Cáceres this week.

Perez, a member of last year’s worlds squad who won beam bronze at Cottbus this year before competing at both the European Championships and European Games, posted a 54.283 to top the field after an excellent day, hitting all four events and posting the top scores on vault (14.4 for her gorgeous FTY) and floor (13.533).

She defeated 2012 Olympian Maria Paula Vargas by just under a point after Vargas, in her first meet back since and injury took her out before worlds last year, had some struggles on bars. Vargas, who also earned the silver medal at last year’s championships, stood out especially on beam with a 13.7, the best score of the meet on that event. She also hit vault and floor very well to finish her day with a 53.567, and should be an easy choice for this year’s worlds squad.

First-year senior Nora Fernandez, just 15, was third in this competition, earning a 51.566 to finish just a tenth over Laura Gamell. Fernandez isn’t the strongest on bars or beam, but her scores of 14.233 on vault and 12.733 on floor made her the second-best in the county on both. Gamell scored a 51.4, including a 13.4 for her lovely work on bars.

European Games team members Claudia Colom and Ainhoa Carmona, both of whom train at Xelska, placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Colom had a rough performance on beam, finishing her day with a 50.867, though her 13.35 on bars was third-best as was her 12.667 on floor, tying Vargas for bronze. Carmona, who made it to the all-around final in Baku, had a 50.6 with vault her best at a 13.933, though she didn’t place in the top three on any event.

Paula Raya placed eighth all-around with a 49.583, but stood out with her gold-winning bars routine, which earned a 13.6. In a field where this event is quite weak, she could be a surprise addition to the worlds team thanks to this special skill.

In the junior division, Ana Palacios won the title with a 52.4 after an incredibly impressive performance on beam and floor, earning scores of 13.4 and 13.033 to win the titles on both in addition to winning bars silver with a 12.8.

Paula Norberto was the silver medalist, posting a 49.05 after rough performances on bars and beam, though she hit solid routines on vault (13.367) and floor (12.533) to make it to the podium. Marta Sanchez was third with a 48.4 after a disastrous vault, but an otherwise excellent day; in fact, had she not crashed vault, she possibly could’ve challenged Palacios for the title. She did have the best bars set among the juniors, earning a 13.25 there, and also brought home beam silver with a 13.35 and floor bronze with a 12.467.

Fourth-place Laura Bechdeju won the vault medal with a 13.633 for her FTY, fifth-place Elsa Prats was the beam bronze medalist with a 12.25, and eighth-place Elena Serrano earned vault bronze with a 13.3.

Full results from championships are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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