Brecksville’s Tessa Phillips takes all-around, Bees win OHSAA district gymnastics crown

CHESTERLAND, Ohio – Brecksville will attempt to win its 14th straight OHSAA state gymnastics championship in a week. Coach Joan Ganim laughed and admitted she’s no longer counting. Her girls won another district team title Saturday at West Geauga...

Brecksville’s Tessa Phillips takes all-around, Bees win OHSAA district gymnastics crown

CHESTERLAND, Ohio – Brecksville will attempt to win its 14th straight OHSAA state gymnastics championship in a week.

Coach Joan Ganim laughed and admitted she’s no longer counting. Her girls won another district team title Saturday at West Geauga High School in their effort to prolong that streak.

The faces have changed. Three-time state champion Alecia Farina has graduated.

The team is smaller. Just 13 gymnasts compete. A few years ago, senior Tessa Phillips remembers 20.

But that’s OK with her.

Phillips won multiple individual crowns, taking the all-around championship once dominated by Farina to lead the Bees’ effort. The University of Illinois-bound Phillips won the vault and floor exercise en route to her all-around championship.

She thinks the team is closer and focused because of its smaller size. Phillips said it benefitted her.

“The last two years, Alecia was amazing but she also pushed me to be better,” Phillips said. “I don’t think I’d be the gymnast now that I am now without Alecia.”

A year ago, Phillips finished second in the district on the uneven parallel bars. Returning gymnasts Julia Pompeani of Magnificat and a few of Phillips’ own teammates finished on a higher note at last year’s state championships.

On Saturday, Phillips stood tall while encouraging younger teammates at every opportunity.

Brecksville totaled 148.025 points as a team, finishing ahead of second-place Magnificat, Mentor, Chardon and Hudson. Those five programs qualified for the state championships, which will be held March 3 and 4 at Hilliard Bradley High School.

The top 16 individuals in the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise and all-around also advanced to next week.

Brecksville junior Emily Huffman won the parallel bars, while North Canton Hoover’s Madeline Berrey took the balance beam. Phillips finished fifth and second in those events.

Sound familiar for a dominating Brecksville performance?

“Our saying this year is never given always earned,” senior captain Brielle Marlow said. “We don’t want people to think it just happens, especially in this sport. If you don’t put in the hours, it doesn’t happen.”

Team standings

1. Brecksville 148.025, 2. Magnificat 145.725, 3. Mentor 141.425, 4. Chardon 140.000, 5. Hudson 138.475, 6. West Geauga 137.600, 7. Berea-Midpark 135.750, 8. Westlake 133.950, 9. Buckeye 132.675, 10. Brunswick 131.550, 11. Stow 130.750, 12. Jackson 129.500.

Vault

1. Tessa Phillips (Brecksville) 9.675, 2. Madeline Berrey (Hoover) 9.575, 2. Gabrielle Blackford (Madison) 9.575, 4. Emily Huffman (Brecksville) 37.3, 5. Caitlin Coode (Mentor) 9.525, 6. Kendra Lindway (Cuyahoga Heights) 9.500, 7. Emily Connor (Magnificat) 9.475, 8. Anna Eckert (Magnificat) 9.375, 9. Sara Kasper (Stow) 9.350, 10. Lillian Baker (Chardon) 9.325, 11. Tara Soria (NDCL) 9.300, 12. Julia Pompeani (Magnificat) 9.275, 12. Jessica Froncek (Brunswick) 9.275, 14. Izabella Abookire (Brecksville) 9.250, 14. Brielle Marlow (Brecksville) 9.250, 14. Emily Phillips (Chardon) 9.250.

Uneven parallel bars

1. Emily Huffman (Brecksville) 9.575, 2. Izabella Abookire (Brecksville) 9.500, 3. Julia Pompeani (Magnificat) 9.275, 4. Kelsey Morgan (Mentor) 9.250, 5. Tessa Phillips (Brecksville) 9.200, 6. Kayla Benjamin (Chardon) 9.050, 7. Emily Connor (Magnificat) 9.000, 8. Grace Fabry (Walsh Jesuit) 8.975, 9. Gabrielle Blackford (Madison) 8.950, 10. Brielle Marlow (Brecksville) 8.850, 11. Phoenix Lee (Canton McKinley) 8.825, 12. Jessica Froncek (Brunswick) 8.800, 12. Kaley Miklich (Magnificat) 8.800, 14. Hannah Burk (Brunswick) 8.775, 14. Caitlin Coode (Mentor) 8.775, 16. Tara Soria (NDCL) 8.750, 16. Tayla Thome (Buckeye) 8.750.

Balance beam

1. Madeline Berrey (Hoover) 9.375, 2. Tessa Phillips (Brecksville) 9.275, 3. Sarah Kegg (North Ridgeville) 9.075, 4. Julia Pompeani (Magnificat) 9.025, 5. Mia Hackney (North Ridgeville) 9.000, 6. Celeste Murman (Magnificat) 8.950, 7. Emily Huffman (Brecksville) 8.900, 7. Macy Lori (Hudson) 8.900, 9. Lillian Baker (Chardon) 8.850, 10. Cecelia Walter (St. Vincent-St. Mart) 8.800, 10. Lauren Romano (Medina) 8.800, 12. Brielle Marlow (Brecksville) 8.775, 13. Anna Eckert (Magnificat) 8.750, 13. Gabrielle Blackford (Madison) 8.750, 13. Kasten Rini (Magnificat) 8.750, 16. Madeline Conroy (Magnificat) 8.725.

Floor exercise

1. Tessa Phillips (Brecksville) 9.625, 2. Izabella Abookire (Brecksville) 9.425, 3. Emily Connor (Magnificat) 9.400, 4. Emily Huffman (Brecksville) 9.350, 5. Brielle Marlow (Brecksville) 9.250, 5. Grace Fabry (Walsh Jesuit) 9.250, 7. Jessica Froncek (Brunswick) 9.225, 7. Kendra Lindway (Cuyahoga Heights) 9.225, 9. Anna Eckert (Magnificat) 9.150, 10. Alexis Ange (West Geauga) 9.075, 11. Alyssa Taglieri (Mentor) 9.050, 11. Kayla Benjamin (Chardon) 9.050, 13. Phoenix Lee (Canton McKinley) 9.000, 14. Cecelia Walter (St. Vincent-St. Mary) 8.975, 15. Peyton Balawender (Stow) 8.950, 15. Caitlin Coode (Mentor) 8.950.

All-around

1. Tessa Phillips (Brecksville) 37.775, 2. Emily Huffman (Brecksville) 37.375, 3. Emily Connor (Magnificat) 37.100, 4. Izabella Abookire (Brecksville) 36.750, 5. Grace Fabry (Walsh Jesuit) 36.525, 6. Kendra Lindway (Cuyahoga Heights) 36.475, 6. Julia Pompeani (Magnificat) 36.475, 8. Brielle Marlow 36.125 (Brecksville) 9. Anna Eckert (Magnificat) 36.000, 10. Gabrielle Blackford (Madison) 35.875, 11. Jessica Froncek (Brunswick) 35.700, 11. Cecelia Walter (St. Vincent-St. Mary) 35.700, 13. Caitlin Coode (Mentor) 35.650, 14. Celeste Murman (Magnificat) 35.575, 14. Kayla Benjamin (Chardon) 35.575, 16. Sarah Schneider (Elyria) 35.450, 16. Macy Lori (Hudson) 35.450.

*Note, gymnasts who place in the top 10 of any event receive all-district honors.

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