15 from Warren Powerhouse Gymnastics team to compete at Nationals in Tampa, Fla.
Fifteen members of the Warren Powerhouse Gymnastics team will compete in the 2014 YMCA National Gymnastics Championships held next month in Tampa, Florida.
Delaney Alcorn, Katie Madigan, Emily See, Hanna Taylor, Kyleigh Wilson, Nina Clarke, Madison Mohney, Katelyn Kestle, Kennedy Ford, Morgan Poole, Hailey Peterson, Lindsay Madigan, Kendra Noe, Mackenzie Gravelle and Ellie Yeager will participate in the meet held July 1-5 at the Tampa Convention Center. The meet has separate competitions in eight different levels. Warren will have competitors in Levels 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8.
Warren actually had 33 qualifiers for the competition, and accomplishing this was not an easy task, according to head coach Brian See.
“Every one of our girls really earned this,” said See, in his fourth year as head coach. “We had to work extra hard this year to stay on top of everything.”
While perfecting the skills needed to succeed in gymnastics is never easy, this year’s preparation was extra thorough, as volunteer assistant coach Emily Onuffer explained.
“Every eight years the worldwide routine changes,” Onuffer said. “This happens to be one of those years. Each girl had to completely re-learn her routine this year, which is something we don’t normally have to do. It’s pretty cool what we pulled off, sending this many girls to Nationals with new routines.”
The gymnasts weren’t the only ones who had to learn the routines.
“Emily and I went down to Allentown to learn about the new routines,” See said. “They had us out on the floor like we were the ones who were going to perform.”
See and Onuffer both smiled broadly when mentioning the effort of the girls this year.
“The girls really had to learn it fast,” said See. “But they did. They stepped it up, and accomplished so much. I’m really proud of all of them, and they should be proud of themselves.”
Eighteen other members of the team – Lindsay Onuffer, Morgan Leichtenberger, Julia Vile, Kaitlyn Borden, Riviera Bennett, Lennon Dailey, Hannah Shattuck, Payton Frank, Nura Weese, Jayna Baldensperger, Kaelah Knupp, Isabel Wortman, Elizabeth Koebley, Jaelyn Mohney, Alicia Garrett, Lilly Booker, Layla Weese, and Morgan Munksgard – also qualified for the event, but will not be participating.
As for the fifteen girls who will be participating, See simply hopes each girl “does the best they can do.”
Thirty-two members of the team qualified for Nationals last year, and the team came home with 21 medals and a ninth-place finisher in Lindsay Onuffer.
Emily See, a Level 6 qualifier who also qualified last year, has her eyes on a medal.
“I’m really excited for the bar competition. I want to get a much higher score than I did last year,” said Emily See, who is in her sixth year competing.
While the competition will take place over a thousand miles away, the gymnasts and coaches will not forget the support they’ve received at home.
“We couldn’t have done this without the support we’ve gotten from the community and from the YMCA,” coach See said. “It’s been really great.”
“It’s going to be really cool to take 15 girls to a competition with over 1,500 girls,” said coach Onuffer. “Not bad at all for team from a small town.”