Steamboat gymnasts notch top finishes at state |

Steamboat gymnasts notch top finishes at state

Luke Graham

Steamboat gymnast Julia Gibbs displays her medals from the Colorado state championship meet in Northglenn. Julia, a Level 7 gymnast, won the vault championship and also finished third in the all-around.

— It wasn't expected, but Julia Gibbs will take it.

The Level 7 gymnast from Excel Gymnastics in Steamboat was crowned a state champion at the Colorado state championship meet in Northglenn during the weekend.

She won on the vault with a score of 9.45.

"It was kind of a surprise," coach Mike Smith said. "Vault has not been one of her stronger events this year. But she just hit the board hard, stuck her landing and just did great."

Julia also finished fourth on the beam, fifth on floor and ninth on bars. She also was third in the all-around.

"We really emphasized with Julia to just concentrate on each event and let the scores take care of themselves, and she was able to hit on each event," Smith said. "Finishing in the top 10 on every event and on the podium for all-around is just a great accomplishment."

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The boys team also had its state meets during the past two weekends. Levels 6 to 10 were held March 24 at 5280 Gymnastics in Wheat Ridge. Cole Gibbs competed at Level 9, and Eric Casey competed at Level 6 for the Excel team. Cole was able to score high enough to qualify for the regional championship on April 14 at the Air Force Academy. At that meet, he hopes to improve his score enough to qualify for the national championship in May.

The boy's Level 5 state championship meet was March 25 in Lakewood. Competing in that meet were Excel gymnasts Trace Walker, Jason Starks and Philo Shelton. Philo and Trace had two top 10 finishes. Both boys qualified to compete at the regional championships.

The boys Level 4 team competed Saturday in Monument. Athletes for Excel Gymnastics were Mitch Kucera, Gabriel Harrell and Ian Andress. Ian had five top 10 finishes in his session. He placed second on floor, second on rings, fourth on parallel bars, fifth on vault and eighth on high bar. Ian finished 14th in the all-around after struggling with the pommel horse.

"It's been a great season for the boys," Smith said. "Out of eight athletes competing for the gym this year, seven of them are all at new levels. I am really looking forward to next year when they have had more time to develop their skills."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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