Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Melissa Seaman was one of four St. Francis gymnasts to win an event at the CCS meet.
The St. Francis High gymnastics team didn’t quite reach its goal of posting the best score in school history at the Central Coast Section championships, but the Lancers did forge new ground in winning the meet.
Although St. Francis has captured all four individual events at CCS before, last week marked the first time a different member of the team won each of them. Kelsey Celaya claimed the vault, Abby Purnell won the uneven bars, Tessa Divita finished first on the balance beam and Melissa Seaman took home top honors on the floor exercise May 15 at Gymtowne in South San Francisco.
“We’ve never done that before – have a different girl win each event,” said coach Lynn Horiye, who guided the Lancers to their 14th consecutive CCS crown and 18th overall. “I don’t know if it’s ever been done.”
Dominating with depth, St. Francis posted a team score of 152.250 – just 0.250 shy of its best showing at CCS. Runner-up Lowell totaled 147.50; Los Altos finished fourth at 141.525.
“We had a good meet,” Horiye said. “The girls wanted to (make school history) and were a little disappointed that they didn’t, but the judging is harder at CCS.”
Yet three Lancers notched their best scores in winning individual events at the meet: sophomore Celaya on the vault (9.825), freshman Divita on the beam (9.7) and sophomore Purnell on the bars (9.9). Freshman Seaman’s 9.8 on the floor was just 0.10 off her top score of the season and 0.25 better than runner-up Alicia Woo of Tracy.
The only thing the Lancers didn’t win at CCS was the all-around title, which went to Lowell’s Jolie Chiu (38.550). Purnell placed a close second (38.525).
“She had her best meet,” Horiye said.
Seaman took third (38.350) and sophomore Celaya came in fifth (38.150).
Mountain View’s Elaine Silverman finished sixth with an all-around score of 38.0, while teammate Emilia Mancilla placed 15th (36.175). One of the Spartans’ four gymnasts scratched on the vault, which prevented them from placing in the team competition, according to coach Shannon Thoke.
Kelli Yamaguma led Los Altos, tying Mountain View’s Elizabeth Murray for 17th (35.850).