TJ’s Galioto, Moon’s Hoff headline WPIAL gymnast champs
By: Jerin Steele
Friday, February 15, 2019 | 1:30 AM
Thomas Jefferson gymnast Natalie Galioto and her coaches did some quick calculations after she got finished with her final event, and the math showed she had put together her highest score all season.
That gave Galioto confidence she was in contention for the advanced all-around championship, and it turned out her strong performance was enough to claim WPIAL gold.
Galioto placed first on bars and floor and finished with a score of 38.525 to secure her first advanced division all-around WPIAL individual gymnastics championship Saturday at Moon.
“It feels amazing,” Galioto said. “After the hard work put in, this is awesome. I’m just so happy I was able to hit everything today.”
Moon freshman Lauren Hoff won the Intermediate I all-around title, and Baldwin’s Haili Cordell won all-around in Intermediate II.
Galioto, a junior, scored a 9.583 on bars and 9.7 on floor. She placed second on beam with a 9.675 and sixth on vault with a 9.567. Her previous best finish in all-around was third last year.
North Allegheny’s Reyna Garvey placed second in all-around at 38.525 and won gold on beam. Galioto’s Thomas Jefferson teammate, Natalie Moore, placed third in all-around at 38.017 and won gold on vault.
A day after helping the Jaguars to their first WPIAL team championship, Galioto wasn’t sure how the quick turnaround would affect her, but she was able to put a nice cap on a memorable weekend.
“I felt good, but I didn’t know, because we were here pretty late last night for the team event,” Galioto said. “It was a rough start this morning, but I just came in and did it.”
Hoff used a first-place finish in beam, a fourth on floor, a sixth on vault and a 14th on bars to secure the Intermediate I title. She finished with an all-around total of 39.542 to place just in front of her good friend and Moon teammate Leah Bookser.
“This is really exciting,” Hoff said. “I really didn’t anticipate this at all. I just wanted to come in with confidence and try my best. That’s all you can do.”
Thomas Jefferson’s Anna Weber was third in Intermediate I all-around at 35.292.
Moon’s Jordan Bauer took gold on vault, and Bookser placed first on bars.
Hoff joked that whether beam was her best event depended on the day, but Saturday turned out to be her day. Her 9.4 was nearly four-tenths of a point better than anyone else in the category.
“I just did the same thing as always,” said Hoff, who went right to work tearing down mats with her teammates immediately after her victory. “I just practice, practice and practice and make sure I try my hardest.”
In the morning session, Cordell won gold on beam and compiled a 33.933 to secure the all-around title in Intermediate II. Ambridge’s Maddie Lehn was second at 33.334, and Baldwin’s Hannah Kuchnicki was third at 33.25.
Kuchnicki won gold in vault, West Allegheny’s Alexa Misselwitz placed first in bars and Thomas Jefferson’s Maria Costa won floor.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer