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Local gymnasts to hold first meet of season

Clinic today at Southeast Alaska Gymnastics Academy

Posted: October 12, 2012 - 12:07am

The competitive team for the Southeast Alaska Gymnastics Academy will have its first meet of the season on Monday, October 22, at 3:30 p.m. at their gym. The girls and boys teams, approximately 35 in total, have been hard at work in the gym and are looking forward to the in-house meet. Athletes will be judged and scored on each of their respective events (girls: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise; boys: vault, parallel bars, high (horizontal) bar, pommel horse, still rings and floor exercise). Since it’s the first competition of the season the coaches scheduled the in-house event as a “fun” meet, to give the gymnasts an opportunity to gain confidence and showcase their routines.

“The meet is a balance between hard work, dedication, and fun,” head coach Alexis Howard said. “It will kick start our season and drive the gymnasts to perform at their very best.”

To help prepare for the season, the coaches brought up guest coach, David Ward, to spend an afternoon today conducting a clinic with the team. Ward is from Oregon and has over 20 years of teaching, coaching and spotting experience with both boys and girls from preschool ages to national champions. The USA Gymnastics sanctioned clinic is an exciting opportunity for the team to benefit from experience with a different coach with new ideas, and a different style of coaching.

The clinic will be held at the Southeast Alaska Gymnastics Academy at 3009 Tongass Blvd. From Mendenhall Loop Rd, turn on to Nancy St. and then as it curves around left and becomes Tongass take a right onto the gravel road. The long driveway leads to a blue building, which is the gym. Call Bridget Lujan for more information at 790-6234.

The team trains twelve months a year but the last competition was a girls-only meet in Whitehorse last June. Several of the new and young team members have only competed once and some not at all, so Monday’s meet good low-pressure way to introduce them to competition. Most of the returning team members will be debuting new, more advanced skills than what they competed last season, as a result of passing to the next level at the State championships last March.

Coach Howard stated that having meets on the schedule help the athletes stay focused at practice.

“I want them to work hard in the gym and practice like we compete,” Howard said. “With hard work and a good time, and they’ll have a great competition season.”

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