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It’s like clockwork for local gymnasts

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Charles Whisnand

It’s been like clockwork for Carson City’s Silver State Gymnastics Academy. Even with major lineup changes, the beat goes for the Silver State athletes.

Throughout the past few months, Silver State’s gymnasts have consistently finished at or near the top. Silver State’s most impressive effort may have come this past weekend in the Hilton Invitational at the Reno Hilton. Against teams from across the West Coast, Silver State won the team title at level 6 and level 7.

“I think that’s our best that we’ve ever done at this event,” Silver State director Dave Lester said. “They’re some of the best gymnasts to be found anywhere.”

The effort was impressive since the three gymnasts that were competing at level 6 moved up to level 7. So without their top three gymnasts, Samantha Cobb, 12, Kalie Parmenter, 10, Arel Getty, 9, Amanda Brazeau, 10, and Natalie Trejo, 10, were still able to win the level 6 title. “The level 6s were able to pick up the slack,” Lester said.

Kelsey Chicvara, 10, Sarah Steele, 11, and Jessica Brazeau, 12, moved up to level 7. There are 10 levels at the developmental level before gymnasts reach the elite level.

What was most impressive about Chicvara, Steele and Brazeau winning the title was they were the only three girls competing for Silver State at level 7. The three best scores counted in each event and since all the other teams had six girls in each apparatus, they could drop their three worst scores.

But for Chicvara, Brazeau and Steele, their scores counted in every event, so there was no room for major errors. The performance of the level 6 teams was impressive, too, since they could just drop two scores while other teams could drop three.

In their age groups, Chicvara and Brazeau won the all-around titles while Steele placed fourth in the all-around. At level 6, Cobb won the all-around, winning the uneven bars, balance beam and vault and taking second in the floor exercise. Getty and Amanda Brazeau also won the all-around while Parmenter was second and Trejo was fifth.

Silver State also had one gymnast at level 5, Maddi Saarem, 8, who took second in the all-around.

An even bigger challange is coming up for Silver State when it competes in the FLIPS USA meet to be held at the Reno Hilton Jan. 30 and 31. As many as 1,500 athletes from across North America will compete in the event.

“They will have to be on,” Lester said. “There’s no room for any mistakes. But I’m sure they’ll do well. They’re just doing an amazing job, rising to the occassion.”

In November at the State Championships, Silver State won the team title at level 6 and placed second at level 5, missing the crown by .10 of a point. Cobb, Chicvara, Jessica and Amanda Brazeau all won all-around titles.

Silver State’s gymnasts put in 16 or more hours a week, with a half-hour devoted every day to conditioning, while keeping up with their school work and other responsibilities. Many of Silver State’s gymnasts among boys and girls, have won the Presidential Fitness Award for their school.

“They’re very committed,” Lester said. “After school there’s a million things that their friends are doing.

“They’re commitment and dedication is unbelievable. They do extremely well scholastically. They’re very bright kids in all aspects.”

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor. Contact him at cwhisnand@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1214.