Pine-Richland’s Alexander, Thomas Jefferson’s Kameg big winners at WPIAL gymnastics meet

Saturday, February 15, 2020 | 9:26 PM

Pine-Richland’s Samantha Alexander went into WPIAL individual gymnastics championships wanting to stay on her feet.

She successfully completed her goal in her four events and landed on the top step of the podium.

Alexander, a sophomore, won the all-around championship Saturday at Moon with a score of 37.65.

“I wasn’t expecting that I was going to win, because the last few high school meets I’ve been falling a lot, but today, I had a no-fall meet,” Alexander said. “This is my first WPIAL, so this is really cool. I didn’t compete last year. I’m really proud of myself, because I haven’t had a no-fall meet in a long time.”

Alexander won on bars, placed second on beam, eighth in floor and ninth on vault to edge Thomas Jefferson’s Natalie Moore, who set a WPIAL meet record in vault with a score of 9.95.

Thomas Jefferson sophomore Kamryn Kameg won Intermediate I all-around gold and Central Valley’s Cailey Dolata placed first in Intermediate II all-around.

Alexander scored a 9.575 on bars to edge Montour’s Alexis Bailey, who finished with a 9.350.

“I typically do best on vault, but today I didn’t stick my landing. I did really well on bars, so I guess that was my best event,” Alexander said. “I was happy to win that.”

Moore, a senior, set the state record in vault last season, so she was happy to add the WPIAL record to her resume. She will attend Fairmont State (W.Va.) and be on the acrobatic and tumbling team.

“I didn’t know before they announced it,” Moore said. “It’s really crazy. I felt pretty good. I did really well on bars and, obviously, that’s the best I’ve ever done on vault in my life. Beam was pretty good, too. I could’ve done better on floor, but overall it was a good day.”

Demi Kondos, Moore’s teammate, placed third in all-around in the Advanced Division and won beam (9.45) and floor (9.55).

Kameg, a sophomore, placed fourth on vault, sixth on bars, third on beam and fifth on floor to capture the Intermediate I all-around title with a score of 35.9. Moon teammates Piper Gillespie and Tessa Romah finished second and third, respectively.

Kameg was limited by an injury last season and only competed in bars, so she was thrilled to win the all-around title in her first try.

“It was crazy,” Kameg said. “It’s not something I thought would ever happen. I placed really well on beam today, and I was happy to do that. Sometimes it’s my best event, but it usually changes from meet to meet.”

Romah (bars), Central Valley’s Paige Drake (vault), Montour’s Dailyn Hopkins (beam) and Hopewell’s Meghan Kelly (floor) took home gold in the Intermediate I events.

Boosted by a runner-up finish in bars, Dolata posted an all-around score of 33.692 to win Intermediate II, edging Kiski Area’s Samantha Coleman, who finished with a 33.575.

Seton LaSalle’s Cassidy Rega (vault), West Allegheny’s Ella Sekelik (bars), Penn-Trafford’s Lacey Adamik (beam) and West Allegheny’s Emma Kyle (floor) were the Intermediate II even winners.

On Friday night, Thomas Jefferson successfully defended its WPIAL team championship.

The Jaguars finished with a score of 148.467 to beat meet host Moon, which placed second at 147.918.

“We had a perfect meet,” Moore said of her team’s performance Friday. “We didn’t fall at all. It felt good to go out and hit everything and win with my team.”

Central Valley was third, Pine-Richland finished fourth, West Allegheny was fifth and Burrell finished sixth.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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