'Think Pink' meet a big success

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 20:00
Gymnasts now have their eyes on CIC meet

Chugiak High’s second “Think Pink” gymnastics meet Friday, Oct. 14 was a greater success than last year.

“The turnout was amazing,” Mustangs head coach Wendy Wiltfong said. “Way bigger than last year.”

The meet, which South Anchorage won by less than 15 points over Chugiak, featured a silent auction, concession stand and vendor booths to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. All of the proceeds will benefit two organizations (Young Women’s Christian Association ENCOREplus and Breast Cancer Focus) that provide cervical and breast cancer screenings to women who can’t afford them. The meet raised roughly $1,500.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity to inform people about breast cancer,” Chugiak senior Alyssa McGill said.

The team has enjoyed hosting the meet both years, senior Alex Collins said.

“This meet is always fun,” she said. “It’s a great way to bring the community together. It’s a great fundraiser.”

The larger-then-usual crowd provided a different atmosphere during the competition, McGill said.

“We usually don’t have this big of a crowd,” she said. “It’s better, but sometimes it’s a little nerve-racking.”

The spectators’ loud roars required an adjustment, Collins said.

“It’s difficult to get used to if you’re not around that a lot,” she said.

South, which had a gymnast take first in each individual event, swept the top three all-around spots. Collins took fourth and Bartlett’s Cara Cloud was fifth.

Collins had Chugiak’s best individual performance with a third-place finish in the uneven parallel bars.

The Mustangs will host the final regular season meet Friday, Oct. 21 — Chugiak’s senior night — against South and Dimond at 4:30 p.m.

The Cook Inlet Conference meet will also be held at Chugiak on Oct. 28-29. It will be the first time Chugiak has hosted the conference meet, said Wiltfong, who’s led the Mustangs for eight years.

“It’s a huge deal to host regions,” she said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal here.”

After healing from mid-season injuries, Chugiak’s entire squad competed Oct. 14, Wiltfong said.

“It’s nice to have a full team back,” she said.

McGill’s seventh-place performance in the uneven parallel bars was her first time on the bars in a month and a half after injuring her elbow, she said.

Chugiak’s final two weeks of practice will focus on fine-tuning its skills, McGill said.

“We have some work to do before regions,” she said.

With a healthy team, the Mustangs can accomplish their season goal of improving on last year’s third-place finish at the CIC meet, Collins said. While practices remain light, the team will put a greater emphasis on focus, she said.

“It’s more going over routine,” Collins said. “Cleaning it up. Not adding a lot of new stuff.”

Eliminating falls is crucial to success at the conference meet, Wiltfong said.

“Falling will kill you,” she said. “It’s a half a point every time.”

Where Chugiak finishes will depend on every girl, Wiltfong said.

“It’s up to them in the gym and how hard we work,” she said.


Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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