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Ceres Acrogymnatics bring home national titles
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The Ceres AcroGymnastics team concluded its season in record-breaking fashion.

"We came back with three national champion pair groups," said Ceres coach Ron Osoria. "We didn't have any last year."

Ceres medaled in four events at the 2004 USA Gymnastics, Sports Acrobatics National Championships, held in the Palm Springs Convention Center, July 24-31.

"I really thought we were going to win the Level 8 title but two of our five groups had a simple fall and it was enough to take them out of the running," Osoria said.

Alison Cardenas, Holly Goodrum, Ariana Stevens, Ariel Davidson, Gisele Villegas, Erin Barrett, Derek Chisamore and Steven Walker claimed gold.

Cardenas, Goodrum and Stevens finished first in the Level 8 Women's Trio 18-and-older Division at 35.525. They earned one of the highest scores at the meet.

"They really surprised everybody," Osoria said. "They beat a trio that they had taken second to all season."

The second-place trio totaled 33.958.

Davidson, Villegas and Barrett finished first in the Level 8 Women's Trio 11-to-13-year-old Division at 28.400. The second-place trio totaled 25.908.

Chisamore and Walker finished first in the Level 8 Men's Pair 14-17 Division at 26.067. The second-place pair totaled23.375.

Brandon Fletcher and Dylan Barrett, the Region I Junior Olympic Pair/Group of the Year, won bronze medals.

They finished third in the Level 6 Men's Pair 14-17 Division at 20.242. The first-place team totaled 21.617.

Amber Autrand, Emily Hammerstein and Dora Cantu were awarded ribbons after finishing fourth in the Level 7 Women's Trio 14-17 Division at 20.350.

They weren't scheduled to compete in the finals but did because of a scoring error. The event's organizing committee forgot to deduct two-10ths of a point for height advantage from a team that finished in the top six in the preliminary round.

"The (correction) pushed us from seventh to sixth in prelims," Osoria said. "The top six teams advanced to the finals."

Ceres' trio performed their routine in front of a panel of judges after the finals had already been completed. They had just 20 minutes of warm-up.

"There was a lot of drama trying to pull these kids together," Osoria said. "One of the athletes was on her way home. Another athlete had to borrow a leotard."

Cantu and her parents were on the road in Riverside.

Autrand used a teammates uniform.

Ceres' Keirsha Girouard, Melissa Wartan, LeighAnn Barton, Jamie Beck, Autumn Faccinto, Emily Silva, Stephanie Osoria, Jenna Greer, Brandy Costa, Kyndel Fletcher, Sarah Humphres, Kassandra Contreras, Kassondra Hohstadt, Mikalya Faccinto, Megan Simmons, Alyssa Gardner, Ashleigh Stearns, Megan Alvarado, Jessica Castillo and Sharon Montes didn't bring home any medals or ribbons from the national championships. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier