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South Texas Elite gymnasts compete in national championship

Keldy  Ortiz

By Keldy Ortiz
July 31, 2013 at 2:31 a.m.

From left, Lexi Flessner, Mackenzie Blain and Jordan Bures talk about their recent victories at the USA Gymnastics Elite Challenge. Bures, 15, placed second in the trampoline. Flessner was the only gymnast to medal in the double-mini trampoline, tumbling and trampoline. Blain placed sixth out of 47 on the trampoline.

CUERO - Trainer Chad Ganaway prides on helping his students succeed in gymnastics, preaching if they work hard, good things will happen.

Ganaway was right.

Six students from the South Texas Elite Gymnastics and Cheer competed in last month's U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling national championship in Kansas City.

The event was a new experience to some but a confidence booster to others.

"When I walked in, it took my breath away," said Jordan Bures, who placed second in the level nine double mini competition. "I didn't think I was going to place high, but I knew if I did well my parents would be proud."

Bures, 15, who took time off from gymnastics in 2012 to get involved in other sports, wanted to have a strong performance. She thought her time away from gymnastics would hurt her chances.

"Getting back, I'm so glad that I did it," she said. "This sport is good for me."

Bures, who competed in her sixth national championship, and Kennedy Dudley were among those competing in the national championships. For them, competing at this level was not as difficult since they have been there before and understand what's expected of them.

"I learned to not be shy," said Dudley, 9, who competed in her fifth nationals competition. "I win sometimes and I lose sometimes. I need to know how it feels to lose in order to become better."

Dudley placed second in the level nine double mini, tumbling and third in trampoline competitions.

New to the stage were students Alexis Flessner, 6, and Mackenzie Blain, 10. Blain competed in her second nationals while Flessner was in her first.

"I try to channel them to not focus on the pressure of the situation," Ganaway said. "I try to put them in pressure situations to focus on the task at hand."

Flessner, who placed third in the level five trampoline competition, believed coming in she could do well.

"I was trying my best," she said. "(Ganaway) said I did well."

Blain, who placed sixth in the level seven trampoline division, got into gymnastics "to jump and do all kinds of tricks."

Happy about how she did, Blain said the experience of competing against 2,300 gymnasts put the event in perspective for her.

"I don't care if I get last or first," she said. "I try my hardest."



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