Petisco Leads Esplugues to Spanish League Win

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Gymnasts from Esplugues and Ce La Salle Gracia, including (from left) Irina Muniz, Andrea Matillas, Alba Petisco, Claudia Buxeda, Paula Raya, and Ona Duart

Alba Petisco, a 17-year-old who helped Spain qualify a full team to the Olympic Games at last year’s world championships, put up an incredible performance at this weekend’s Spanish League competition to help her club, Esplugues, top the podium.

With clean and solid performances on all four events, Petisco’s scores were in the top three on every event in the first division, with her beam especially strong at a 13.067, and bringing her to an all-around total of 52.534, the highest of her career.

As the sole all-arounder for Esplugues, Petisco’s contributions were key to the team’s win. Elina Vihrova of Latvia was also a standout for the club, posting the highest floor score of 12.967 in addition to hitting vault and bars, while Paula Raya contributed solid routines on vault and bars.

Xelska had a bit of trouble today with Cintia Rodriguez missing bars, and though she came back with excellent performances on beam and floor, she only ended up fifth all-around with a 47.434, and was unable to give her club the push they needed to reach the top of the podium.

Maia Llacer also competed all four events for Xelska, posting the third-best vault score of the day with a 13.600 and finishing sixth overall with a 47.100, and Claudia Colom, once a top elite in Spain, was 12th with a 45.734. The German gymnast Emelie Petz came in as a guest for the team, and while she struggled a bit on bars, she had the second-best floor routine of the day with a 12.767.

Andrea Carmona and Lorena Medina did strong work to lead Egiba to third place, with the two finishing second and third in the all-around with scores of 48.500 and 48.333, respectively. Carmona was especially strong on vault, while Medina had good work on floor, though they – and the team overall – were a bit too far back on bars and beam to overtake the top two programs.

Rounding out the top eight in the all-around were Emma Fernandez of Los Cantos Alcorcon in fourth all-around with a 47.500, Violeta Sanchez of L’Hospitalet in seventh with a 46.834, and first-year senior Claudia Villalba of Terrassa also in seventh with a 46.834.

Other individual standouts included Laura Bechdeju of Salt, who had the best vault score of the day with a 13.833, as well as excellent work on bars and floor, and Roxana Popa of Los Cantos Alcorcon, who competed only bars and beam here, but was fabulous on both, posting the top bars score with a 13.300 in addition to the third-best beam score with a 12.500.

In the second division, Vilassar de Mar won the team title, followed by Club Sur in second, and Osona in third. Valeriia Osipova, a guest competitor from Ukraine, was the top contributor to Vilassar, competing well on all three of her events to post the best vault and floor scores as well as the second-best bars score.

For Club Sur, Ana Perez was outstanding on bars and beam, posting the top apparatus scores of 13.733 and 13.633, and Italy’s Maria Vittoria Cocciolo was strong on beam and floor to help out Osona. Ines Paterna of fourth-place club Ximnasia Tempo was the strongest all-arounder of the division, posting a 46.666 all-around with especially good work on bars and floor.

Club Grech Centro won the third division competition with a score that would’ve also gotten them the second division title, thanks to standout all-around work from Gabriela Georgieva (first all-around with a 45.934), Carlota Pascual (fourth all-around with a 42.867), and Alba Saenz de Tejada (fifth all-around with a 42.867) as well as impressive contributions from Belgian guest competitor Dorien Motten, who had the top scores of the day on all three of her events, with a 13.200 on vault, a 12.500 on bars, and a 12.167 on floor.

The Xelska B team also did well here, finishing second thanks to strong overall teamwork bolstered by good bars and beam work from Andrea Gonzalez, while Palma ended up in third, led by Lucia Nion, second-best in the all-around with a 45.833.

Full results are available here.

The third Spanish League meet of the regular season will take place in Barcelona beginning on April 4, and the season will conclude with finals held in June.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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