Steamboat Springs gymnast Cole Gibbs warms up on the pommel horse during practice at Excel Gymnastics on Tuesday afternoon. The Steamboat Springs gym will host a men’s Junior Olympic competition from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs gymnast Cole Gibbs warms up on the pommel horse during practice at Excel Gymnastics on Tuesday afternoon. The Steamboat Springs gym will host a men’s Junior Olympic competition from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Gymnastics meet Saturday in Steamboat

Event to feature up-and-coming stars

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Past Event

Junior Olympic gymnastics competition

  • Saturday, January 8, 2011, noon to 7 p.m.
  • Excel Gymnastics, 1955 Bridge Lane Suite 1500, Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free - $5

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— Ten teams and more than 110 gymnasts from across the state are set to descend on Excel Gymnastics in Steamboat Springs on Saturday for a high-level Junior Olympic competition.

The meet will feature gymnasts from Level 4 through Level 10. The event begins with athletes in Levels 4 and 5 competing from noon to 2 p.m. Levels 6 and higher will compete from 3 to 7 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 to 11 and free for children 2 and younger.

“It’s just great that we have 10 teams from all around the state coming up,” said Mike Smith, the boys coach and owner of Excel Gymnastics. “We’re excited to show the gym to the men’s programs in the state of Colorado. Most people coming up haven’t seen this gym, and it’s one of the best places in Colorado.”

The meet also should feature some of the best up-and-coming gymnasts in Colorado. Level 4 is the lowest level, with Level 10 gymnasts on the cusp of moving into the elite category.

There are 12 Level 10 athletes registered for the meet. They are gymnasts who will be training for the Olympics or NCAA competition in the near future.

“With level 10’s you’ll see release moves on the high bars,” Smith said.

There will be five gymnasts from Steamboat competing: Philo Shelton and Jason Starks will compete in Level 4, Eric Casey and Trace Walker will compete in Level 5, and Cole Gibbs will compete in Level 8.

The Level 4 and 5 competitors will compete as a team, giving Steamboat an opportunity to walk away Sat­­urday with a trophy.

Smith said all the gymnasts have the ability to place in the top 10, and Gibbs — a second-year Level 8 competitor — has the ability to place in the top three.

“Cole, I’m hoping, finishes in the top three,” Smith said. “But you never know; anything can happen. If he hits, though, he should be in the top three.”

It will be the second boys event held at Excel Gym­­nastics, but the biggest in size. The team has been practicing three hours a day, four days a week in preparation.

“It’s going to be a lot more fun since we don’t have to travel like three hours,” Casey said. “I’m looking forward to competing and my mom is going to be able to come.”

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