Northeast Tarrant

Bell girls gymnastics going for 20th state championship

The L.D. Bell Lady Raiders gymnastics team is hoping to turn 20 this season.

Not as in age, but as in the number of team championships won by the program since the beginning of the Texas High School Gymnastics Coaches Association.

Based on their performances so far this season, the Lady Raiders should once again be in the mix come the state meet. They were second last season to San Angelo Central.

With the holiday break over, all four HEB teams are back in action (Bell and Trinity girls and boys).

The Lady Raiders entered last weekend with the top team compulsory average in the state (116.625), while the Trinity Lady Trojans are fourth (114.583). The Trinity boys are sixth in average (168.267) and Bell is 14th (154.000).

Round Rock (116.850) has the highest girls score in the state for a single meet this season, and Bell is third with a 116.550. Trinity is tied for fifth at 115.000.

Trinity’s 170.100 is the fourth-highest boys compulsory score in a meet this season.

And while she is proud that her team is again among the state’s best, Bell coach Debbie Williams knows none of it matters if they don’t perform in the postseason.

“Honestly, scores throughout the season mean very little since it all comes down to two days at regionals and then two days at state. I like for my girls to do well and feel success throughout the season because it helps keep them motivated,” Williams said.

“High school gymnastics has a long season, and keeping them up and healthy the entire time is a challenge. I have a great group of girls on this team, hard-working, motivated and extremely supportive of one another.”

Alexis Martin of Bell has the top all-around average in the state of 38.825, while teammate Kyleigh Prather is tied for second with a 38.750. Martin is second in the floor average (9.825) behind Prather (9.850).

Martin is also second in the bars average (9.750). Teammate Kaitlin Hornsby is second among beam average (9.725).

As for Trinity, the Lady Trojans are led by Taylor Payne, who is fifth in all-around average (38.825), fourth in beam average (9.717), and tied for fourth in floor average (9.750).

The Trinity boys are led by Donovan Yancy, whose 57.567 all-around average is fifth in the state.

Bell’s Adam Tice is tied for the top average in the vault (9.800) among boys, and Mikko Macapagal is third in pommels average (9.750).