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Grand County Gymnastics gives athletes a leg up

by Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand County Gymnastics, one of the area’s longest-running non-school youth athletic programs, is off to another great season.

Starting in September, the program has been offering Thursday and Friday evening classes each week at the gym in Granby Elementary School. The classes are open to kids ages 3 through high school.

“Kids can get a good start athletically in our program,” said coach Jenny Krieg. “But they get more than just athletic training. They also build their confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes we can do more for the uncoordinated child than for those more gifted.”

Grand County Gymnastics got its start back in the 1970s. Krieg, who is the owner and head coach of the program, originally started coaching it in 1982 when Cathy McNice ran it.

“It was already going strong when I started and I coached for 10 years for Cathy before I took over,” Krieg said. “This program has been going so long that there are adults today who began with the program when they were kids in elementary school who are now bringing their own kids to it. The longevity of this program proves there is a definite need for it.”

This fall’s program currently has 86 young gymnasts enrolled.

“This is one of our bigger groups for a year, but we’ve had years where we’ve had over a hundred kids in the program,” Krieg said.

“Our ages range from three to 14 now,” Krieg said. “We’ve had older gymnasts including 16- and 17-year-olds in the past.”

Krieg said the reason that Grand County Gymnastics’ program is successful in handling the large number of participants is because of its dedicated staff of coaches that includes Kendra Yunker, Sue Thurston, Mackenzie Simmons, Tammy Eatough and Elsa Krieg.

“I’m very fortunate to have them,” she said. “Sue has been with the program since 1993, and some of them, like Mackenzie and my daughter Elsa, began as gymnasts in it when they were 3 years old.”

While emphasizing that its program is primarily recreational, Grand County Gymnastics also offers its participants the chance to take part in competitions.

“None of our gymnasts have to compete if they don’t want to,” Krieg said. “At heart, this is a recreational program and that’s why we’re here. But if the kids want to compete, we give them the opportunity.”

Each year, Grand County Gymnastics has sponsored a team that competes in series of meets run by the Colorado Association of Recreational Activities (CARA) in the spring and summer. Over the years, several of the local program’s gymnasts have won district, regional and state medals.

Some have even gone on to compete in elite programs.

In January, those gymnasts interested in competing will form the program’s 2008 team and begin specific training to prepare for the CARA meets that start in May and continue until July, when the state championship is held.

Those interested in learning more about Grand County Gymnastics can call coach Jenny Krieg at 887-9277.

The public is also welcome to attend its practice sessions on Thursdays and Fridays at the Granby Elementary gym. The schedule is: beginners, 5-5:45 p.m.; intermediates, 5:30-7:30 p.m. and advanced, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Participants in Grand County Gymnastics are divided into three groups by ability ” beginner, intermediate and advanced. The current roster for Grand County Gymnastics is:

Beginner ” Molly Everhart, Ruthie Everhart, Kaily Peterson, Braxton Blakeman, Elsa Martin, Susan Kate James, Hope James, Gianna Blakeman, Maddi Ruttenberg, Ethan Ruttenberg, Anna Peters, Serena Stuart, Mia Stuart, Abby Kuhnel, Abree Bridge, Skylar Guerrieri, Khacha Rooks, Rylee Bogert, Clay Stanley, Cooper Stanley, Joci Holbrook, Hope Johson, Sydney Curran, Bailey Tracy, Grace Johnson, Julia Tenney, Michelle Davis, Hannah Zagone, Jaiden Bergen, Jahlen LePage, Henry Bergen and JJ Starks.

Intermediate ” Trista Peterfish, Madison DeCicco, Everett Martin, Dahlia Byles, Anna Doulas, Kierra Barr, Braelyn Bridge, Mackenzee McRoy, Olivia Kuhns, Abigail Jiminez, Madison Milstead, Mallory Milstead, Karma Instone, Sky LePage, Rachael Mills, Sarah Stern, Reilly Weimer, Haley Weimer, Erica Weimer, Shana Hichox, Talise Hansen, Darby Howard, Kayla Joestring, Jimmy Pandy, Joey Pandy, Megan Life, Madisyn Werner, Holly Tehan, Keegan Paulson, Spring Frazey, Mahae Deisher, Coral LePage, Anna Makowski, Iris Burks and Codi Hatfield.

Advanced ” Olivia Butrymovich, Jessica Kemp, Erin Coatney, Karly Mulloy, Jenna Curran, Mary Acord, Kandace Conroy, Josie Quinn, Brianne Eatough, Jaiden Smith, Hannah Bray, Delany Howard, Katrina Quinn, Hava Roloff, Ashley Matney, Peyton Bodemann, Erin Acord and Samantha Tracy.


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