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Local girls take first place

Meet was first hosted by Gymnastics Unlimited

Posted: October 13, 2008 7:56 p.m.
Updated: December 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Gymnastics United Pikes Level 4 team took first place at the event, beating out four other teams. The team consists of competitors ranging from age 6 to 11.

The local Pikes competitive team posted outstanding scores and brought home a first-place Level 4 team award in the first-ever competitive meet hosted by Gymnastics Unlimited.

The Aug. 16 meet featured five competitive teams from gyms throughout California. Among the competition's highlights for Gymnastics Unlimited's Pikes team was a first-place victory for the team's Level 4 group consisting of girls ranging in age from 6 to 11.

Pikes head coach Vanessa Atler said the meet was the first competition in front of an audience for more than half of the team members, and they came through with flying colors.

"This was a great starting off point for them. They did what they did in practice, which is what every coach wants," said Atler, a former U.S. national champion who grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley. "It was a tester competition to see how they did, and get them used to having an audience there, and the pressure, and having real judges there."

The Pikes' Level 4 team wasn't the only group achieving team success: The Level 5 and Level 6 groups each earned second-place overall team honors.

In addition to the team awards, several Pikes posted outstanding individual scores, including Cameron Burns, 9, who competes in Level 5, scored a 9.050 on the floor exercise. Kaitlyn Berry, 8, scored 9.050 on bars in Level 4.

Marisa Heyer, 11, scored 9.125 on bars and 9.225 on floor in Level 4. Further, Heyer won the all-around first place honor in her age group.

Veronica Thompson, 7, competed in Level 4 and won first place all-around in her age division.

"We have a lot of brand new team members who have moved up very fast," Atler said. "They've just done so well. It's great to see kids so excited and feel so privileged to be part of our team. They are so excited to just go up and salute to a judge. You realize how much fun this sport is for the kids."

Atler said the meet was a hit with the visiting teams and judges. "It actually was one of the most-well-run meets that I've been to. The judges loved our facility."


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