The I & M Gymnastics Team from Channahon, traveled to the AAU Age Group Gymnastics Nationals. Nationals were held at the ESPN Center at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida on June 12- 16. The competition opened with the Level 4 Women. Gwen DeMaso was the first from I & M to take the floor. She placed 9th on the bars to start the medal count. Gwen also received a medal for the all-around competition.
The next day the Level 5 Women met on the competition floor. Ella Robare was relaxed and ready to perform. She came out with a solid routine on the vault receiving the Bronze medal. Ella also received medals for her uneven bar routine (9th place) and floor exercise (10th place). Her fourth medal was for placing 9th in the All-Around competition.
Chloe DeMaso (Level 5) was the first competitor to take to the bars for her age group. Her impressive routine earned her the bronze medal. Chloe continued to make I & M proud with her silver medals on both the beam and on the floor exercise. It was a close race in the All-Around competition. Chloe pulled it out and received the Silver medal.
Friday afternoon, the Level 4 Men took the floor. I & M was represented by Jared Bieker, Tyler Ratcliff, and Mekhi Cortes. Jared Bieker impressed the judges with his Gold medal winning pommel horse routine. Jared took the Silver medal on the floor, and the Bronze medal on both the high bar and on the rings. His parallel bar and vault scores were not far behind. He placed 5th and 6th respectively. Jared’s last medal was for the All-Around competition. He took home the Bronze medal.
Mekhi Cortes showed what it takes to win the Gold medal on the parallel bars. His vault exercise was not far behind, taking the Silver. Mekhi enjoyed showing his stuff on the pommel horse, bringing home the Bronze medal. He also achieved impressive scores on the high bar (4th place), rings (4th place), and the floor exercise (5th place), bringing home medals in each event. The silver medal in the All-Around rounded out Mekhi’s seven medal winning count.
Tyler Ratcliff also brought home seven medals. His high bar and rings exercises proved to be the best in the nation. Tyler brought home the Gold in both events. Three Bronze medals were also place around Tyler’s neck. These medals were for the pommel horse, the parallel bars, and the vault. He also received a medal for his 10th place floor exercise. The proudest medal Tyler brought home was his Gold medal he achieved in the All-Around competition.
To finish up the competition, the Level 6 and Modified Optional Women took to the floor. The I & M girls showed the nation how to perform on the floor. Lexi Kronberger (Level 6) received two medals. She received the Silver medal for her remarkable floor exercise. She also received a medal in the All-Around competition.
Cayla Sponholtz (Modified Optional) also brought two medals back with her from Nationals. She received a medal for the all-around competition and for her extraordinary performance on the floor. Cayla received the 6th place medal for her routine.
Many individuals and businesses provided support to the team. The team is thankful of all the support and are happy that they were able to show their appreciation by bringing back so many medals.