Rice Wins State Gymnastics Title

Rice Wins State Gymnastics Title

Written by  Hugh Bowden Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

WATERVILLE — In her first year of competition, 8-year-old Gilly Rice is a state champion gymnast.

Gilly, who trains with coach Doug Springer at Springers Gymnastics Center in Ellsworth, took top honors among 8-year-olds at Level 4 in the USA Gymnastics Maine State Championships on Saturday.

In addition to her top all-around honors, Gilly placed first in the floor exercise, second on vault and beam and fourth on the bars.

Also competing from Springers were Madelyn Nida at Level 4, age 10, and Katherine McKee and Paige Sawyer at Level 5, ages 7-9.

All four girls had to attain qualifying scores in earlier USA Gymnastics meets to be eligible for the state competition.

“These girls were looking for an additional level of competition and commitment,” said Springer.

At Level 5, Katherine and Paige turned in strong performances, placing sixth and seventh all-around respectively, said Springer. “They are in a very tough level and competitive age group, and they held their own.”

Katherine was fourth in the floor exercise and seventh on vault, bars and beam.

Paige was sixth on the vault and in the floor exercise and eighth in the bars and beam.

Gilly and Madelyn both had their personal best meets at Level 4, said Springer. “In fact, they did so well they finished just .025 apart.

Madelyn was second on the vault, fourth in the floor exercise and fifth on the bars and beam to place fourth overall in her age group.

For many of the girls at At Level 4, it’s their first year competing, added Springer. “To be at the state meet is very exciting but also very nerve-wracking. The girls handled the pressure and excitement extremely well.”

On Sunday, two boys from Springers competed at Level 5 in the Region 6 Championships held in Braintree, Mass., facing gymnasts from throughout New England.

Nate Mason in ages 7-9 and Andrew Gillette in ages 10-11 each faced off against more than 50 boys in their respective age groups.

“They did their absolute best,” said Springer, “and we couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments this season.”

The Down East YMCA girls’ team from Springers will host its final regular season meet on Sunday, and the public is invited to attend.

Springers will send nine girls to Glens Falls, N.Y., to compete in the Northeast Regional YMCA Championships May 4-6.

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