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Ocean Flippers gymnastics teams win S.C. state crown 14 years in a row

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Gymnastics & More’s Ocean Flippers gymnastics teams came home with two team titles at the state championships in Newberry and Rock Hill, S.C., last weekend.

The Level 9 team brought home the South Carolina state team gold with a final score of 110.125—more than three points ahead of the second-place team.

With an all-around champion in Level 7 (Ana Smith), Level 8 (Faith Burns) and Level 9 (Gilly Hogue), as well as the Level 9 team title, the Ocean Flippers have successfully been S.C. state champions 14 years in a row.

The Ocean Flippers Level 9 team consisted of Courtney Turner and Hannah Bollinger of Shallotte, Katie Gralton and Breanna Gawron of Southport, Nicki Bindewald and Gilly Hogue of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Greer Jones of Oak Island, Brianna Graves of North Myrtle Beach, S.C. (injured) and Tiffany Parish of Southport (injured).

Turner took third place on the uneven bars, second on the balance beam and third in the all-around in her age division.

Gawron placed sixth on uneven bars, third on balance beam, seventh on floor exercise and fourth place in the all-around. Bindewald, who had been undefeated, finished second on vault, first on bars, first on beam, second on floor and second in the all-around by .025—the smallest margin possible without a tie in Junior Olympics gymnastics.

Bollinger became balance-beam champion by bringing home the gold in her age group. Hogue, the youngest team member at 12, placed second on vault, third on bars, first on balance beam, first on floor and first in the all-around.

The Ocean Flipper girls, level 7-9, consisted of Taylor Barrett of Shallotte; Casey Pyatte and Carly Pyatte of Holden Beach and Ana Smith of Surfside Beach, S.C. Carly Pyatte was unable to compete due to an injury.

Casey Pyatte placed eighth in the state on the uneven bars, third on balance beam and sixth overall in her age group. Taylor Barrett took fourth on vault. Ana Smith won the bronze medal on bars and the gold medal on vault, balance beam, floor exercise and the all-around.

The Ocean Flipper Level 8 gymnasts were Sarah Gralton of Southport and Faith Burns of Little River, S.C. Sarah placed second on the uneven bars, third on the balance beam and third in the all-around in her age division. Faith brought home first place on vault, second place on bars, second place on beam and the gold medal in the all-around.

A few hours away in Rock Hill, the Ocean Flippers boys’ gymnastics team included the Level 4 team of Austin Cartrette of Conway, S.C.; Andy Williford of Tabor City; Lance Perl of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Shaun Brown of Long, S.C.; and Brent Bindewald of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Level 5 team included Chandler Long of Little River, S.C.; and Daikan Lale of Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Level 6 team included Chris Scheu of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Henry Harrelson of Loris, S.C.; and Drew Smith of Ocean Isle Beach. The Ocean Flippers had one Level 10 gymnast, Josh Phelps, of Ash.

Chris Scheu brought home the gold medal in the all-around for the Level 6 division, and the Level 6 team also won the S.C. state team title, helping make it 14 years in a row for the Ocean Flippers.

So far this year, Gymnastics & More Ocean Flippers have five all-around state champions: Jaymie Danford, a Level 5 from North Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Ana Smith, Level 7; Faith Burns, Level 8; Gilly Hogue, Level 9; and Chris Scheu, Level 6 boys.

The Level 8 and some Level 9 female gymnasts will go on to compete in the regional championships respectively in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala., where they will compete against the top gymnasts in eight southeastern states.

The Level 9’s can qualify for Eastern Nationals while at regionals.

Gymnastics & More is located in Little River, S.C., within The Sports Zone Center.