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Top Contenders gymnasts win team championships

Top Contenders Gymnastics, south of Brooksville, took part in several competitions over the past couple of months, with the results that many have come to expect from the elite academy.

A combination of athletes led Top Contenders to team championships at the Fall Gasparilla Gymnastics Competition at the Lakeland Center in October, the Gene Stone Invitational at the Tampa Convention Center in November and at the Suncoast Gymnastics Academy in New Port Richey in November.

The individual results of the Top Contenders gymnasts at the Gasparilla event were also impressive.

Alex McCann, 5, led the way for the team in the Level 2 division, taking first place in vault, bars, beam and all-around. Breanna Boice, 7, captured a gold medal in floor in the same division. Hannah Summers, 6, also earned first in floor.

Danika Abbadessa, 7, won first place in the all-around in Level 3, thanks to gold medals in bars and floor. Shelby Goode, 7, took first in beam, while Abigail Sallings, 7, earned first in vault. Katie Johnson, 10, captured a Level 3 gold in the floor.

The Level 4 competition was split into AAU and USA criteria. In AAU, Courtney Wenrich, 9, won the beam, while Abigail Barron, 9, took the vault. Madison Morgan, 10, earned the all-around title with first place medals in both the vault and bars.

The local USA gymnasts were led by Natalie Torraco, 7. She won the overall with gold medals in the vault, bars and floor. Gabrielle Healis, 7, also won an all-around crown with victories in the beam and floor. Kayden Clift, 7, earned a win in the beam event, and Savannah Kline, 11, won the vault, while both took home all-around titles.

HIGH POINT WOMEN'S GOLF: The High Point Women's Golf League competed in nine-hole and 18-hole events last week.

In the nine-hole division, the women played "Odd Holes In" with players scoring only the odd holes.

Barbara Ryan won Flight A with a score of 24. Helen Reynolds (25) came in second, only one stroke behind. Freddie Worley (25) took the crown in Flight B, with Sandra Cairns and Pat Goman tying for second with at 27. The Flight C winner was Cecile Abbott (28), over Jean Trant (29).

Cairns was the lone golfer in the division to card a birdie, scoring one under par on the first hole.

The 18-hole women competed in an "Even Holes Only Minus Handicap" contest.

Cindy Williams (16) won Flight A by one stroke over Elizabeth Bates (17). Dottie Mussato (19) and Donna O'Keefe (20) rounded out the top four. In Flight B, Bernice Skinner not only won the title, but also carded the best round of the day with a 14. Anna McGovern (16) placed second, ahead of Liz Maharg (17) and Jean Erber (19).

McGovern and Reeves both birdied the third hole, while Williams scored a birdie on the 12th hole. Maharg, Skinner, Joy Brady and Williams all had chip-ins during their rounds.

FIREARMS SAFETY CLASSES: The Hernando Sportsman's Club will offer a female firearms safety course Dec. 15.

The class will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the club, 16121 Commercial Way, north of Weeki Wachee.

The course will cover the basics of firearms safety around the home, as well as an introduction to pistol safety, parts and operation; an introduction to ammunition and the fundamentals of pistol shooting; an introduction to pistol shooting from the seated and standing position, and an introduction to pistol cleaning and storage.

Classes include instruction, live-fire training on the range and a lunch break.

The cost is $60. Successful completion of the class provides required documentation to apply for a Florida concealed carry permit. Preregistration is required.

Call (352) 597-9931 to preregister. For information, visit

TENNIS CLINICS: Ace Performance Tennis is offering QuickStart drills every Monday at Delta Woods Park in Spring Hill.

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., players will take part in drills and games designed for beginners, using the U.S. Tennis Association-approved strategies for 60-foot court players. The fee is $10 per player.

Ace Performance Tennis also offers Ladies Night Out from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Monday at Delta Woods Park.

For $10 per class, women of beginning and intermediate skill levels can learn to play in a fun social setting.

For information, call John or Louise Downey at (352) 666-0658 or visit

TOURETTE SYNDROME GOLF TOURNAMENT: The Plantation Golf Resort in Crystal River will host the inaugural Tee Off for Tourette Celebrity Golf Tournament on Feb. 1 and 2.

Proceeds will benefit the Tourette Syndrome Association of Florida, a volunteer organization dedicated to helping individuals and families living with Tourette's syndrome. The money will help send children to an annual camp, where they can be with other children with Tourette syndrome and can make new friends.

The basic entry fee is $500 per four-player team, which includes a hole sign and recognition in the tournament program, as well as greens fees and a cart. Other sponsorship levels include gold, platinum and event.

For $1,000, a sponsor receives the same features as with the basic fee, plus a plaque commemorating the event. For a platinum fee of $2,500, a corporate sponsor gets two four-player teams. The event sponsor fee of $5,000 includes three four-player teams and the privilege of playing the round with one of the celebrities signed up to be on hand.

Individual hole sponsorships are $250. Individual players can play for a cost of $100 per golfer.

Among the celebrities expected to appear are former Buffalo Bills linebacker Darryl Talley, American Idol Season 9 contestant Dave Pittman, Kansas City Royals minor leaguer Nick DelGuidice and sports artist John Prince.

For more information, contact event chairman Gary D'Amico at (352) 527-2938 or

Contact Derek J. LaRiviere at or (352) 584-6337.

Top Contenders gymnasts win team championships 12/05/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 4:35pm]
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