Gymnastics off to fast start in Labor Day meet |

Gymnastics off to fast start in Labor Day meet

Luke Graham

Emma Cooke won the all-around competition in the ages 7 to 10 division Sept. 3 at the Labor Day weekend meet at Excel Gymnastics.

— More than 131 girls and six teams competed in the Labor Day weekend meet at Excel Gymnastics.

Teams from Littleton, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen, Thornton and Steamboat competed in Levels 4, 5 and 6.

It was the biggest Labor Day meet Excel has hosted. Two years ago, 65 girls competed, and 121 took part last year.

The event is a Junior Olympic competition where each gymnast participates in vault, bars, balance beam and floor exercise. It was a compulsory meet, meaning the competitors are told specifically what their routine must be.

Arianna Tullis was the top Excel finisher in the ages 6 to 8 division with a 10th-place finish, including a sixth-place finish on floor.

In the ages 9 to 12 division, Emily Craig finished in fourth place in the all-around with first-place honors on the bars and beam events. Also finishing in the top 10 was Sydney O'Hare in sixth, including fourth in the vault event.

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Competing at Level 4 for the Excel team were Becca Fahrner, Abi Appel, Jenna Smith, Cheyenne Bird, Whitney Couchoud and Jesca Kisembo.

In the ages 7 to 10 division, Excel's Emma Cooke took the first spot in the all-around competition, beating her closest competitor by 0.15 points. She also had a first-place finish on bars, a second-place finish on vault and a third-place finish on floor. Her sister Amie Cooke also finished in the top 10 in all-around.

In the ages 10 and 11 division, Sophia Grewal was the top finisher in all-around for Excel, coming in at 15th place. She had a top finish of fourth on floor. Also competing in the ages 10 and 11 division was Annika Fahrner. In the 12 and older age division, Alyssa Groves was the only competitor from Excel. She had a great finish in second place in the all-around. Emily Groves, competing in Level 6, finished third in the all-around with a first-place finish on bars. She also had fourth-place finishes on vault and floor and fifth on beam.

"It's really great to see our girls compete so well against teams and gyms that are so much bigger," Excel owner Mike Smith said. "The kids did a wonderful job, they trained hard through the summer and are beginning to see that effort pay off. With the whole season still ahead of us, they should continue to do well as they improve their skills and plan to peak at states in December."

The team next competes Oct. 1 in Wheat Ridge.

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