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Local Youth: Modesto gymnast wins title

Modesto gymnast Haleigh Shepard is a national champion. Shepard, 13, won the Level 9 USA Gymnastics Western National title in floor exercise in Bartlesville, Okla., on May 10. Shepard’s title came in the Junior 5 division of the two-day meet. (Holly Thomas)
Modesto gymnast Haleigh Shepard is a national champion. Shepard, 13, won the Level 9 USA Gymnastics Western National title in floor exercise in Bartlesville, Okla., on May 10. Shepard’s title came in the Junior 5 division of the two-day meet. (Holly Thomas)

Modesto gymnast Haleigh Shepard is a national champion.

Shepard, 13, won the Level 9 USA Gymnastics Western National title in floor exercise in Bartlesville, Okla., on May 10. Shepard's title came in the Junior 5 division of the two-day meet.

Shepard earned a 9.4 on the floor. She was 11th overall with a combined 36.000. An eighth-grader at Savage Middle School, Shepard trains at GymStars of Modesto.

GymStars teammates Karlene Simon, a senior at Beyer High, and Caitlyn McGue, a senior at Modesto Christian, also placed well at the championships in the Senior 7 division.

Simon was second all-around with a score of 36.450. Her best score came on the beam, where she was fourth with a 9.300. McGue was fourth on the uneven bars with a score of 8.95 and 11th all-around (34.800) in the Senior 7 division.

Coach Holly Thomas said gymnasts qualify for nationals by placing in the top six in their age division at regionals, and believes Shepard is the first gymnast from Modesto to win a Western National title.

TENNIS HONOR — Modesto's Ryan Lewis is the top-ranked 10-and-under tennis player in the Central San Joaquin Valley in the United State Tennis Association's Northern California standings.

The Central San Joaquin Valley covers the area from Madera to Lodi. Lewis qualified for the "Little Mo" North Regionals in San Francisco on July 3-5. The tournament is for the top eight athletes in five regions and is regarded as one of the premier youth events in the country.

Lewis qualified at the Diamond Hills Sports Club and Spa in Oakley at a sectional April 17-19. The top four finishers at the North Regionals advance to the national championships in Austin, Texas from Oct. 17-19.

SOCCER STATE CUP — The Turlock Tornados under-19 boys soccer team defeated the Newark Argonauts 4-0 to win their second consecutive Northern California State Cup Championship on May 3 in Morgan Hill.

Jesse Horta Trellez scored twice and Pablo Lopez and Sergio Hinojosa each scored a goal.

Coach Art Pulido said the defense was led by captain Lalo Ramirez, Martin Arista, Danny Ramos and Beau Villanueva. Goalies Edgar Martinez and Eddie Salinas combined for the shutout.

The Tornados advanced to the Far West Regionals in Lancaster from June 15-21.

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