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    ALL STARS WINTER CHALLENGE  December 7, 2003

 All Stars Winter Challenge  Dec 7, 2003

Anyone who remembers the excitement of the Independence Cup will tell you that the Winter Challenge provided an even better show!  Team Aurora, streamlined and strengthened this year, marched onto the floor with only six competitors, and were dwarfed in size by Team Andromeda.  With ten gymnasts on the competitive floor, Andromeda finally had the depth they so desperately needed.


But depth is only a small part of the strength of a gymnastics team.  After a strong start on the Vault, Team Aurora watched while Andromeda had fall after fall on the Balance Beam.  The squads switched events, and Aurora began its own struggles on the Beam.  Ann Marie put an emphatic end to the problems, though, hitting her routine with a meet winning score of 8.3.  Meanwhile, Andromeda continued to struggle on the vault, until the one-two punch of Lauren and Ashley halted the downward slide. 

With the meet half way over, Aurora was leading by 1.65.  Andromeda got the boost they needed on Floor, where the judging was geared toward execution of the elements, rather than the difficulty of the tumbling.  With three gymnasts scoring 8.0 or better, and Jennifer scoring the highest score of the entire meet (9.1), Andromeda jumped back into the lead.

Aurora, watching the lead slip away, tried to mount another attack on the bars.  A high score from Nicole helped, but without a key member of the team, home due to illness, the scores simply weren’t there.  Aurora moved over to the floor, and performed well, with four members of the team scoring 8.0 or better, including Amanda’s career-high 8.6.  Andromeda confidently warmed up on bars, and calmly nailed their routines, and that was enough for the victory.

Special congratulations are in order for the new All Stars, who are fitting in with their teams brilliantly – in fact, they are leading their teams in many areas!  Congratulations to Andromeda for their first victory.  Good luck to both teams in the future!


AURORA : 153.60     ANDROMEDA : 158.30




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