Mustangs have high hopes despite recent injuries

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 20:00
Collins, Smith shine while Thomas, McGill heal up
Chugiak’s Bella Wiggins performs on the balance beam for the Mustangs during a tri-meet Sept. 9 at Dimond High. Wiggins finished 10th in the all-around competition and was eighth on the beam.

Chugiak’s gymnastics team limped to a second-place finish in a tri-meet with South and East on Sept. 9 at Dimond.

“We had a couple girls resting,” said Chugiak coach Wendy Wiltfong.

Two of Chugiak’s top gymnasts, Allison Thomas and Alyssa McGill, sat out the meet with injuries as Chugiak posted a season-low team score of 149.8. By contrast, the Mustangs scored 169.95 points in their previous meet on Sept. 2.

Despite lacking their usual depth, Chugiak still turned in some solid performances as senior Alex Collins finished third in the all-around competition while freshman Maddie Smith continued to impress with a fourth-place showing.

“She’s a really strong gymnast,” Wiltfong said of the freshman. “She’s definitely taking on that young leadership role.”

Collins is also leading the team, and showed why she’s one of the Cook Inlet Conference’s best with a first-place finish in the floor exercise — her second win in that event in as many meets.

Collins said losing McGill and Thomas hurt, but the team is hopeful those girls will be back in time for Chugiak to compete for a top spot in the CIC.

“We’re really excited about our team,” Collins said.

Although South looks to be nearly unstoppable this season (the Wolverines racked up more than 201 points in the meet), Collins said she thinks Chugiak can challenge Dimond for the runner-up spot this year.

“We really want to get second,” she said.

Chugiak’s second-place finish at Dimond was the Mustangs’ first loss after opening the season with back-to-back meet wins. Chugiak also beat West and Service on Sept. 2 behind Collins and Smith, who went 1-2 in every event for Chugiak, which swept the top five spots in the all-around competition.
















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