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P-R Photos/Rob Fountain Beekmantown's Alyssa Leonard competes during the floor exercise at Saturday's Section VII gymnastics championships. Leonard captured the all-around victory while leading the Eagles to the team title. Bonus photos available midday Monday at
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Plattsburgh's Dalen Keswick performs on the uneven parallel bars during Saturday's Section VII gymnastics championships. Keswick won three events and took second in the all around.

Eagles, Leonard capture gymnastics titles

By: Eric Gissendanner

PERU — Beekmantown defended its gymnastics crown by winning the Section VII championship at Peru Central High School on Saturday. The Eagles earned the title with a team score of 154.25 while Peru finished second with 148.025 points and Plattsburgh rounded out the rankings with 136.45 points.

“I’m real pleased with our performance today,” Beekmantown coach Sheree Trudeau said. “Everyone stayed focused and hit their marks.”

The Eagles’ Alyssa Leonard grabbed the all-around championship with 34.975 points. Leonard edged out Plattsburgh’s Dalen Keswick, who came in second with 32.9 points. Keswick won the individual vault, bars and floor competitions while Leonard won beam and did not finish worse than second in her events.

“Alyssa was obviously right on today,” Trudeau said. “She came through for us, but this is a team sport and everyone throughout this season has done their individual part.”

Coming into this season, Lydia Gricoski was penciled in to be a key Eagle but an injury sidelined the sophomore. Beekmantown then received contributions from its younger gymnasts. Brielle Cerne stepped up this season and made an impact, especially in the sectionals, Trudeau said.

Cerne finished fourth in the all-around with 30.625 and placed third on the beam. In addition to Leonard and Cerne, Erica Leonard, Kailey Quackenbush and Alison Trudo accounted for five Beekmantown gymnasts in the top 10.

“Brielle is just one of the others who came through for us in a new role,” Trudeau said. “There’s been a lot of maturity from this team so far and that’s helped everyone.”

While the Eagles shined overall, Keswick held strong for the Hornets. The senior struggled on the beam with an 11th-place finish and acknowledged that is his top priority of training for the state meet in March.

“That was the first time I fell during a competition,” Keswick said. “I was really nervous coming into the day. As things went on, though, I got more comfortable, but I have to keep working because the competition at the state meet is a lot tougher.”

Beekmantown will continue its training as the team prepares for the state competition in five months on Long Island. The Eagles will not be the lone Section VII representatives. Keswick, Josh Boise and Hannah Kaltenbach will represent Plattsburgh while Karsyn O’Donnell and Alexandra Brown will show Peru colors. Lexi Trombley earned an automatic state qualifier by finishing third all-around and Molly Lawliss serves as an alternate for the Indians.

While Peru and Plattsburgh saw its seasons end, Beekmantown now has the task of staying focused on a competition five months away. The long layover is not a concern for the Eagles, Trudeau said.

“Our team knows what we have to do from here on out,” Trudeau said. “Most of our gymnasts work year-round as it is so training during the rest of fall and winter will be routine for them.”

Brielle Cerne from Beekmantown won the Stacey Frechette Sportsmanship award.

Team scores

1, Beekmantown, 154.250. 2, Peru, 148.025. 3, Plattsburgh, 136.450.


1, Keswick (PHS), 8.65. 2, A. Leonard (Beek), 7.925. 3, tie, O’Donnell (Peru) and Boise (PHS), 7.85. 5, tie, Trombley (Peru) and Kaltenbach (PHS), 7.75.


1, Keswick (PHS), 8.35. 2, A. Leonard (Beek), 8.275. 3, Cerne (Beek), 7.70. 4, Trombley (Peru), 7.60. 5, Brown (Peru), 7.15. 6, Quackenbush (Beek), 7.125.


1, A. Leonard (Beek), 9.45. 2, tie, Quackenbush (Beek) and E. Leonard (Beek), 7.55. 4, Cerne (Beek), 7.525. 5, Pellerin (Peru), 7.35. 6, Trombley (Peru), 7.30.


1, Keswick (PHS), 9.35. 2, A. Leonard (Beek), 9.325. 3, Lawliss (Peru), 8.90. 4, Rivers (Peru), 8.80. 5, Brown (Peru), 8.65. 6, O’Donnell (Peru), 8.50.

All Around

1, A. Leonard (Beek), 34.975. 2, Keswick (PHS), 32.90. 3, Trombley (Peru), 31.00. 4, Cerne (Beek), 30.625. 5, Brown (Peru), 30.55. 6, tie, E. Leonard (Beek) and Quackenbush (Beek), 29.575.