SAN DIEGO — Eileen Maul was completing her compulsory routine on the balance beam when, in the middle of her final tumbling pass, she felt a stab of pain in her tender right wrist.
Her wrist, which she sprained 3 1/2 weeks ago in practice, was the key to two major upsets at the San Diego Section gymnastics championships Saturday at Torrey Pines High School.
Maul, the two-time section optional all-around champion from Santana High, finished in sixth place with a score of 36.7. Torrey Pines senior Lisa Cody, who won the optional all-around with a score of 37.45, was named the Gymnast of the Meet and the Gymnast of the Year at the section final.
In the second upset, Santana, the three-time defending team champion, lost to Mount Carmel, which scored 221.25 points. Santana (220.85) finished second and Torrey Pines (216.35) third.
Mount Carmel and Santana each broke the section record of 219.80 points set by Santana last year.
"I've been planning an upset every day this year," said Lyn Antrim, Mount Carmel coach. "I never really said that you have to beat Santana. Our goal was to be the best. Inside I knew that if (Mount Carmel's team members) did the best they could do, they would upset Santana."
Steve Butcher, first-year Santana coach, said: "My girls and Mount Carmel's all hit on their routines. It was up to the judges. I'm shocked that Mount Carmel improved its score so much from the league meet."
At the Palomar League meet two weeks ago, Mount Carmel won with 211 points.
But the key to Mount Carmel's victory may have been the subpar performance of Maul, who had not practiced since she sprained her wrist.
"I have never seen (Maul) not have a perfect routine on the balance beam or fall off the bars," Antrim said.
Maul slipped off the uneven bars during her compulsory routine. The junior, who also had been bothered by pain in her left shoulder the past few days, took her poor showing Saturday in stride.
"I'm not shocked," she said. "Everything happened all at once. Right before (the section final) I got all these injuries . . . my luck, I guess.
Cody said she never expected to win, adding that she was shooting for third place.
"This was the best meet of my life," said Cody, a senior who finished fifth in the all-around last year. "I told myself that this is it. This was the last (gymnastics) competition ever. I knew it had to count or I'd be disappointed . . . and I'm not disappointed."
Team--Mount Carmel 221.25, Santana 220.85, Torrey Pines 216.35; All-around--Lisa Cody (Torrey Pines) 37.45, Dawn Hanson (Santana) 37.1, Pam Mingst (Mount Carmel) 37.05; Bars--Laurie Russell (Mount Carmel) 9.4, Hanson (Santana) 9.3, Cody (Torrey Pines) 9.25; Beam--Russell (Mount Carmel) 9.45, Tasha Taylor (Torrey Pines) 9.4, Cody (Torrey Pines) 9.3; Floor--Dawn Cooper (Mount Carmel) 9.55, Melinda Montrose (Monte Vista) 9.5, Hanson (Santana) 9.35; Vault--Cody (Torrey Pines) 9.6, Hanson (Santana) 9.45, Nancy Gawrys (Santana) 9.4.
All-around--Missy Meadows (Santana) 37.1, Colleen Bailey (Valhalla) 36.9, Andrea Eidsmoe (Santana) 36.85; Bars--Susan Ashe (Santana) 9.4, Tristie Graetz (Mount Carmel) 9.35, Meadows (Santana) 9.3; Beam--Meadows (Santana) 9.35, Eidsmoe (Santana) 9.05, Lelli Hose (Torrey Pines) 9.05; Floor--Wendy Ballou (Mount Carmel) 9.55, Hose (Torrey Pines) 9.45, Graetz (Mount Carmel) 9.35; Vault--Kali Blomstrom (Mount Carmel) 9.65, Ashe (Santana) 9.5, Ballou (Mount Carmel) 9.35.