East Valley Victories: Gymnasts, hockey team victorious - East Valley Tribune: Sports

East Valley Victories: Gymnasts, hockey team victorious

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Posted: Friday, April 4, 2008 11:48 pm | Updated: 11:49 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Once again, we have a winner, actually three.

The Arizona State men's gymnastics team captured its 10th USA Gymnastics Collegiate championship on March 28 in Springfield, Mass., and 15th-year head coach Scott Barclay was selected USA Gymnastics coach of the year for the 10th time on March 29.

"It's a great team to coach but I wouldn't be here if it weren't for their commitment and desire to be involved in such a positive activity," Barclay said.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep successfully defended its USA Hockey Rocky Mountain District high school championship in the six-team tournament at Farmers Branch, Texas. It was the first successful title defense in the eight-year history of the tournament.

"I am very proud of our team," Notre Dame coach Mark Ciaccio said. "Our school, the state of Arizona and the Arizona High School Hockey Association deserved our best efforts and we're ecstatic to keep the title in Arizona."

In the gymnastics championship, nine men's teams qualified, and the Sun Devils competed in the five-team collegiate (nonfunded) division. Team and all-around titles were also awarded in the four-team NCAA division.

ASU won its title with a season-high score of 319.90 led by all-arounder Anthony Naddour of Gilbert. Naddour finished second in the all-around with 81.35 points (.5 behind the winner) and qualified for the individual finals on pommel horse and still rings.

Naddour's teammates Charles Baysinger (78.85) and Dillon Saunders (76.35) were third and fourth, respectively in all-around. Theirplacements were good enough for All-America honors in the event for all three.

Naddour was joined in the individual finals (top eight scores) by teammates Josh Bradley and Mesa's Anthony Damiani, who both qualified on vault.

"The team really pulled out all the stops," Barclay said. "The pressure of a big meet just didn't get to the guys and that's exactly what we needed. The whole team pulled together and finished the year off as strong as ever. Halfway through the competition, we were .7 behind and we had to pick it up. But we kept on plugging and really picked it up on the last three events."

ASU beat out James Madison (293.2), Washington (289.55), Texas (282.55) and Brockport (255.80) for the title.

Naddour, a sophomore, earned All-America honors for pommel horse after finishing third in the finals. Bradley, a freshman, finished third on vault and Damiani, a sophomore, was fourth. They also earned All-America honors.

For full results and story visit www.usa-gymnastics.org/news/2008/mar28-collegiatenationals.html or www.sundevilgymnastics.com.

On the ice, Notre Dame went undefeated in the tournament of state champions, which also included teams from Colorado, Idaho, Texas, Utah and New Mexico.

The Saints, who became the first team from Arizona to win the Rocky Mountain high school title last year, were 5-0 over the weekend.

In the qualifying rounds on Friday and Saturday, Notre Dame advanced by defeating the Meridian (Idaho) Warriors 3-1, shutting out the Utah Brighton Bengals 10-0, and defeating the College Park (Texas) Cavaliers 4-3 in overtime.

The Saints defeated the Colorado Monarchs 8-7 in the semifinals. In the title game the Saints had to take on the Warriors again and came out on top 4-2.

After the Saints jumped out to a lead with goals from Connor McLaughlin and John St. Thomas in the first two periods, the Warriors took advantage of penalties to the Saints and tied the score by the end of the second period. Seven seconds into the third period, state tournament MVP Justin Barnett scored the game-winner and Vincent Francis added the insurance goal.

"This game was an example of what heart and determination are all about," assistant coach Dan Francis said. "Our players showed their true character by reaching deep down inside to give it everything they had."

Francis and Ciaccio are in their third year with the Saints.

MORE CHAMPIONS

The 2008 Arizona Archery Outdoor Championships were conducted last weekend at Ben Avery Archery Range in Phoenix.

Eighty archers worked their way through windy conditions at distances of 90, 70, 50 and 30 meters with the target getting smaller along with the distance.

Members of the Papago FITA Archers Club captured a number of first-place finishes.

John Heffelfinger of Phoenix led the way, winning the 50-and-older age group recurve bow title with 1,078 points out of 1,440. Teammate David Aprea of Fountain Hills took third place. Pat Peters from Tempe, won a hotly contested compound bow division, the 50-plus group, scoring 1,296. He beat his runner-up by nine points with only one point separating the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers.

Peters later took second in the compound bow Olympic Round competition, one in which the archers compete in single elimination at 70 meters. Richard Doria of Chandler, won the barebow division in the 50-plus age group.

Tempe's Kari Granville, who served as the tournament director, won the senior women's recurve division with 1,205 points.

Sue McGee, from Scottsdale, won the women's 50-plus recurve competition with the score of 930 points. Ashley Votruba, from Chandler, took second in the collegiate women's compound bow division scoring 1,258 points.

Many of these athletes will be competing in the internationally ranked Arizona Cup Tournament, Wednesday through Sunday at Ben Avery.

More than 200 hundred archers are expected to attend the tournament, which is an Olympic qualifier for the United States team, as well as other nations.

For more information about the Arizona Cup, visit www.azarchery.com. For more information about Papago Archery Club, visit www.papagoarchery.com.

Know someone who deserves mention in East Valley Victories? E-mail or call Billye Jill Paulson at bpaulson@evtrib.com or (480) 898-6862

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