Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Top Contenders Academy gymnasts take top honors

Gymnastics might sometimes fly under the radar, but with the success that Top Contenders Academy is having, that may not be the case much longer.

Competing at the 20th annual Gasparilla Classic at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg a couple of weeks ago, Top Contenders teams finished first overall at Level 3 and second at Level 4. The school also was the home of four of the top five finishers at the Prep Optional Level.

The Gasparilla Classic consisted of programs from all over the world, including teams from the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Canada and all over the United States. In Level 3 competition, Top Contenders (111.9) edged out Aerial Stars Gym of Land O'Lakes (110.975) and Stars & Stripes Academy of Spring Hill (110.55).

The effort was led by two first-place individual finishes from Molly Hanley, 8, (38.25) and Kaylee Pizzano, 6, (37.05). Hanley swept all four events (bar, beam, floor and vault) on her way to defeating Riley Brown of Aerial Stars.

The most advanced individual victory for a Top Contenders competitor came from Level 8 gymnast Vicky Luckina, 15. Luckina won both the vault and floor exercise on her way to an overall crown. She received the only 9-plus scores in either event.

Baseball: The Brooksville Bombers (14-10) continue to fight through a slump at the plate and still win games.

Although the Bombers split a home doubleheader with the St. Petersburg Hurricanes on Sunday at Ernie Wever Park in Brooksville, the team shows grit and determination with every victory.

Continuing their AAU schedule, the Bombers dropped the first game 7-3. Mike Ebberup pitched well in the loss, surrendering only two runs in three innings as coach Randy Mosser waits for the bats to come around.

On the back end of the twin bill, Brooksville pulled out a 10-9 win thanks in large part to the efforts of the team's closer, Derek Ordaz, who pitched three sturdy innings to end the contest, allowing only a run. He also had the only extra base hit for the Bombers with a double.

Brooksville has an off weekend Sunday because of Easter.

Pitch, Hit & Run: The Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Competition will be coming to Brooksville at the Jerome Brown Community Center Adult Fields at 6 p.m. April 23.

The event is the Official Skills Competition of Major League Baseball and is designed to provide local youths the opportunity to compete, free of charge, against their peers to recognize individual excellence.

There will be four age divisions: 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14.

If they qualify, youths will have the opportunity to advance through four rounds of competition, with the final two rounds taking place at MLB ballparks and the national finals at the 2008 MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in New York.

All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and fill out a waiver-registration form before the start of the competition. For information, call Lou Bermudez at (352) 544-5498.

Submit news and events to

Top Contenders Academy gymnasts take top honors 03/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.