BEAVER FALLS, Pa. - Lynn Hill of Weirton and his 1977 and 1978 Beaver Falls High School ladies gymnastics teams were named Larry Bruno Foundation Hall of Achievement honorees during a banquet July 27 at Seven Oaks Country Club.
Beaver Falls didn't have a gymnastics program until Hill began an elementary-level program in 1966. By 1977, the Lady Tigers won their first state championship - the same year the state team tournament began. In 1978, the team became the first - and only - team in school history to win back-to-back Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League and state championships.
Both teams had undefeated 9-0 records, and three members went on to Division I schools. Terri Turconi won the 1977 WPIAL All-Around championship and was the 1978 uneven parallel bars champion. She earned a University of Florida scholarship and was a member of three SEC title teams and team captain her senior year. Paula Nahal, 1977 team captain, was the 1976 MAC floor exercise and balance beam champion. She earned a West Virginia University scholarship and still holds the WVU balance beam record. Luann Guzetti, 1978 team captain, was the 1976 MAC uneven parallel bars champion and qualified for the 1976 state tournament. She earned a University of Alabama scholarship. She was All-SEC in 1981 and 1982 and placed fourth in the 1983 national championship.
The 1977 team included Clare Cantelmi, Guzzetti, Nahal, Karen Turconi, Terri Turconi and Luann Wickline. The 1978 team includes Jodi Boyle Cantelmi, Cathy Gasper, Guzzetti, Tammera Miller, Karen Townsend, Karen Turconi, Terri Turconi, Nahal and Wickline.
Hill credited the volunteers who assisted the team through their love of the sport for the team's success.
"I just passed on what my coaches passed me," he said.
Hill is a retired teacher, coach and investment broker. He was named the Burgettstown Community Library Good Egg for his contributions to youth sports in 2012 and he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He is listed in Who's Who in U.S. Gymnastics 1977, and he was a Division I Slippery Rock College gymnastics and physical fitness champion in 1964. He graduated from Burgettstown High School, where he lettered in three sports and was a swimming and diving champion.
Hill is a volunteer tumbling instructor at Luanne's School of Dance and Center Stage School of Dance, and a Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame satellite chair and Scholar-Athlete Committee member. He is a member of the Burgettstown Scholarship Committee and established the Edwin "Dutch" Hill Memorial Athletic Scholarship in 2004. He established the first Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame satellite branch at the Burgettstown library in 2006.
The Larry Bruno Foundation honors sports and civic achievements of Beaver Falls area individuals and teams and displays game memorabilia, photos and items donated by coaches and athletes.