World Class Gymnastics' Level 10 girls didn't have a lot to celebrate about after their opening meet Dec. 15 in the Bahamas, but that all changed Saturday.
That's after the talented array of girls from the Newport News-based gym topped a field of 45 teams to win the Grand Champion title and a $1,500 check at the prestigious Circle of Stars Invitational in Indianapolis, Ind.
Then to make it more exhilarating, Kiera Brown, a senior at Woodside High School, put on a spectacular performance to qualify for the coveted Nastia Liukin Cup on March 1 in Worchester, Mass.
To win the only Liukin spot on the line for senior division competitors, Brown had to beat out 113 other girls ages 16 and over.
She did it with an all-around score of 37.850.
"This was better than my last meet," Brown said while referring to her runner-up AA finish and score of 35.850 in the Atlantis Crown Invitational. "I was a little off in that meet but this time I stayed focused and went out and did what I knew I could do."
Her previous-best AA performance (38.45) came at the Atlanta Crown Invitational last January.
Brown, a member of the 2011 Junior Olympic National Team, highlighted Saturday's showing with a career-best score on bars, 9.75. She also had a 9.5 on vault, 9.325 on beam, and 9.275 on floor.
World Class, third in the Level 10 team competition in the Bahamas, bounced back in Indy with a far superior performance with a winning score of 113.025. Next came Cincinnati Gymnastics (111.825).
Besides Brown, others contributing points to the winning team included Taylor Harrison, Ashley Lambert, K.C. Locher, Rebekah Conrad, Hope Nelson and Taylor Le Moal.
The Level 9's for World Class also stood out, winning the team title for its session. Gaby Johanek, first on beam (9.075) and the AA (35.45), headed that group. Other winners included Jamie Stone, 9.5 on vault; Lily Olson, 9.15 on beam; and Lexi Mills, 9.125 on bars.
For the Level 8's, Andrea Sellers and Lyssa Garber had 9.4's on floor to win their age groups.
World Class hosts an invitational at the Boo Williams Sportsplex this weekend. For information, visit worldclassgym.com.
Peninsula High School League competitors fell short of their quest for the overall state title but still made a strong showing in the Clyde Robert Perkins II Memorial High School Bowling Championships on Sunday in Midlothian.
In the overall team race, the Peninsula held a lead of about 100 pins over Woodbridge after three games but Woodbridge stormed back in the last three games to win its first state title with a total pinfall of 28,431. The Peninsula finished in second place in the handicap tournament with 28,237 pins.
In the team handicap competition, York High's Jeff Harberts, Tyler Moore and Kenneth Johnson rolled to the title with 4,490 pins. Grafton's Patrick Spitz, and Gloucester's Dustin Mayer and John Gaddis placed sixth with a score of 4,119.
Individual titles went to Harberts for high handicap series (868) and to Mayer for high handicap game (336). Mayer actually shot a 280 scratch game.
The Virginia Crusaders, champs of the Mason-Dixon Football League, will be shooting for a bigger prize in Daytona Beach, Fla., starting at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.