Local gymnasts compete at state level
Dec. 26, 2017 at 10:15 p.m.
For gymnasts at Manning Gymnastics Centerplex, this year has proven to be challenging but also a learning experience.
In mid-September, gymnasts from Manning Gymnastics competed in the Texas USA Gymnastics competition.
The gym, owned by Laura Manning and Jamie Manning Payne, focuses on traditional gymnastics, which include the bars, the balance beam and the floor events.
Their athletes are required to do movements like roundoffs, flipoffs, and dismounts from high bars.
The girls are hand-selected for this team and compete in a 3-month season.
"We choose them by watching them through our recreational classes," said Junior Olympic coach Anna Pearce. "They are then put on a pre-team, and we go through an evaluation in the spring time. They are judged on a system and have to reach a certain point."
The girls compete on different levels that describe the difficulty and skill levels of the athletes.
The higher the level, the more difficulty is involved in the tasks.
Throughout the season, the girls compete in six to eight events.
Preparation for these events requires an extensive amount of hard work and dedication.
"They go through long, strenuous practices," Pearce said. "Every day they go through conditioning their bodies."
What events the athletes get to compete in late in the season is largely dependent on their performance.
The District, South Side and State competitions, which can be the last events for the athletes, depend on the gymnasts' scores.
To attend these events, a gymnast must qualify with a certain high all-around score.
The eight girls on the Junior Olympic team attended the district event in Houston for a chance to qualify for the south side competition.
This was the ending competition if gymnasts are a level 4 or under.
For level 5, the district event qualified athletesdirectly to the state eventin Lubbock. The results of these competitions are as follows:
Out of the six girls who could qualify for south state, two completed this conquest: Emma Christensen and Olivia Parma.
The two gymnasts who are in level 5, Audrey Janak and Madison Kurth, both qualified for the state championship from district.
Kurth was the only gymnast who had competed in the state championship previously. She placed fifth in the state for the all-around.
"The two coaches make it so fun for the girls. They try to take the focus off of landing skills and make it enjoyable for the girls, and they end up getting it perfectly," said Katy Kurth, Madison Kurth's mom.
This is only the second year this team has been competing competitively, and Pearce looks to only go up from here.
"I think the season turned out really good," she said . "The expectations I had for them; they fulfilled and for the future I'm looking for another good season and to achieve more goals."
Emma Christensen, age 7, level 3, Top 10, AA South State 36.27.
Elizabeth Arnecke, age 10, level 3, 3rd place on vault with 9.4 in District Qualifier Meet
Avery Mead, age: 8, level 3, District championship AA 35.425, Top 10 Beam
Olivia Parma, age 8, level 3, Highest All-around score 36.825, placed 6th in South State Championship All-around
Madyn Espindola, age 9, level 4, AA 34.975, 2nd place on floor District Championship
Brooklyn Zorn, age 10, level 3, AA 36.15 at District Championship 9.35, 4th Vault at District Championship
Audrey Janak, age 13, level 5, Highest AA score at 35.475, Highest Achievement: 1st District Champion Bars, Top 8 in beam at state in Lubbock, Texas
Madison Kurth, age 14, level 5, Placed first at the District Qualifiers on uneven bars with a 9.0 and 2nd on floor with a 9.075. Placed first overall with a 9.0 at the District Qualifier and first in the Vault, and was also 5th in the State for all-around at the 2017 State Championship in Lubbock.