Young gymnasts shine at meet |

Young gymnasts shine at meet

Since placing first in the parallel bars at the Eagles State Gymnastics Championships, it’s been hard to separate 7-year-old Billy Winters from the medals he collected.

“He’s really proud,” Billy’s father, Dave, said. “He even wore them in the Fourth of July parade.”

Billy participated in this year’s parade with a group from the GrandKids Child Care Center, which used Dave’s restored 1964 Ford pickup for the parade. Dave drove the vehicle this year, and Billy was along for the ride with his medals around his neck.

Dave said his son got interested in gymnastics a couple of years ago while taking an introductory class at the Steamboat Gymnastics Center. He said his son’s cartwheel caught the attention of instructor Dan Atkins, who moved Billy into a more advanced year-round training program.

These days, Billy is part of an elite group of athletes who travel out of town twice a year to take part in high-level competitions.

“He had a great cartwheel,” Dave said.

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This year at the Eagles State Championships on June 24, Billy proved he has developed more than just a great cartwheel.

He placed first in the state in the parallel bars with a score of 9.2 and, along with teammate Cole Gibbs, finished third in the team competition. Gibbs’ best event was the high bar, in which he scored an 8.7.

Theirs were just a few of the top finishes for the members of the Steamboat Gymnastics Center at the meet, which is the biggest of the summer for local gymnasts.

The Eagles State Champ-ionship was held from June 24 to 26 at the Aerial’s Gymnastics Center in Colorado Springs.

Other top finishes in Friday’s action included Kaithlyn Rud-olph, who placed second in the state overall in the optional A division with a score of 36.25. She was first in the uneven bars. Teammate Carley Hanley was eighth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.05 to finish 19th overall in the state.

On Saturday, 5-year-old Sammi Jo Stabile led a group of girls from Steamboat Springs competing in level 4. Stabile was 18th overall with a score of 33.4. Teammate Maggie McElhiney finished 19th at 33.2, and teammate Brianna Lindstrom was 20th with a score of 32.95.

On Sunday afternoon, a group of older girls competed in the level B championships. Dorina Fredickson, of Craig, was seventh overall with a score of 35.55 and fourth in the balance beam competition. Teammate Taylor Loomis was ninth in the state at 34.85 and sixth in the floor exercise; Nicole Fry was 10th in the state at with a score of 34.85 and seventh in the beam. Steamboat’s Hanna Erickson was 14th in the state at 33.45 and ninth in the beam.

Genna Bradley, 13, placed second in the state at the optional C level.

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