Grand County gymnasts qualify for state |

Grand County gymnasts qualify for state

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

About half of the Grand County Gymnastics Team earned places in the state championships at Overland High School in Aurora on Friday and Saturday, July 25-26.

Ten of the local team’s 23 gymnastics made the cut and qualified for the state meet while competing July 18-19 in the Colorado Association of Recreational Activities (CARA) Regional Gymnastics Tournament, also held at Overland High School. Twenty teams competed in the two-day tournament.

To qualify for the state meet, the gymnasts had to place in either the top six places of an event or in the all-around competition for their ability/age class at the regionals.

“Overall, it was a great effort by our whole team,” said coach Jenny Krieg. “The competition is getting harder each year, but we really have a pretty dedicated bunch of young ladies.”

Topping the list of state qualifiers at the CARA Regionals was the Grand County team’s Ashley Matney who won an all-around first place in the highly competitive Optional 2 group for ages 7-12. She won a first place in the balance beam and a third in the floor exercise with outstanding scores.

“Ashley’s all-around score of 31.075 was her highest of the year,” Krieg said. “She earned it on the strength of her beam and floor exercise routines. She picked the right time to come on strong and peak.”

Qualifying by earning an all-around fifth place was Josie Quinn in the Optional 1 competition for ages 11-12. She won first place in the balance beam, took the runner-up spot in the floor exercise and placed fourth in the uneven parallel bars.

“Josie has struggled with the bars event for most of the season, but really pulled it off this time,” Krieg said. “Taking an all-around fifth place was great and this will be her first time going to state in the all-around category.”

The Grand County team’s third all-around qualifier was Talise Hansen in the Compulsory 4 category for ages 11-12. She earned an all-around fifth place with high scores in all four of her events, including an incredible 9.550 in the vault that won first place.

Mary Acord won a trip to the state meet with an outstanding performance in Optional 2 for ages 7-12. She won first place in the uneven parallel bars with a score of 7.700.

“The bars are Mary’s strongest event,” Krieg said. “Her routine was excellent.”

Qualifying with a third place in the balance beam was Brianne Eatough in the Optional 2 competition for Ages 7-12.

“Brianne just moved up to Optional 2 from Optional 1,” Krieg said. “It’s a lot stiffer competition in O-2, but she did an outstanding balance beam routine.”

Rounding out the team’s Optional qualifiers was Erin Coatney in O-1 for ages 11-12. She placed fifth in the floor exercise.

“Erin’s routine was so beautiful,” Krieg said. “It was her best of the season.”

Two sisters on the Grand County Gymnastics Team qualified during the regionals. Erica Weimer took a second place in the vault in the Compulsory 4 for 7-year-olds while her sister Haley placed fourth in the vault in the C-4 for eight-year-olds.

Kierra Barr earned two qualifying scores in C-4 for seven-year-olds. She placed fourth in vault and fifth in uneven parallel bars.

Also qualifying in two events was Mackenzee McRoy in C-4 for 10-year-olds. She placed fifth in balance beam and sixth in vault.

While not qualifying for state, the rest of Grand County Gymnastics Team’s young athletes gave their very best efforts. Of special note is Peyton Bodemann and Olivia Butrymovich, who had taken top scores in the Optional 2 category all season, but their high scores recently moved them up to Optional 3, which is an open-age group.

“Peyton and Olivia gave it a really good effort in a really tough group that included high school gymnasts,” Krieg said. “I’m really proud of how they upped their performances this season. With this experience, they will come back next year even stronger and it will pay off for them in the long run.”

Also coming in for praise was Jenna Curran in the O-2 category for ages 7-12. She just missed qualifying with seventh places in both the floor exercise and vault.

Coach Krieg also commended the team’s four Compulsory 5 gymnasts Katrina Quinn, Jaide Smith, Kandace Conrad and Jessica Kemp.

“All four had high scores in events, but there was a lot of competition in their age groups,” she said. “These four’s biggest achievement is that all of them qualified for the regionals as all-arounds. That’s not an easy thing to do and they deserve credit for it.”

Also praised by Krieg for their efforts at the regionals as well as all season long were C-4 gymnasts Darby Howard, Erin Acord, Delaney Howard, Madison Milstead, Mallory Milstead and Reilly Weimer.