Gold Country gymnasts shine at USAIGC world competition
Seven talented gymnasts from Gold Country Gymnastics took on the rest of the U.S. as well as teams from Canada and Bermuda in the USAIGC World Championships in Palm Springs with impressive results.
For most of the Gold Country girls, the event was their first experience competing at a national level, but for one, it was her last as a gymnast.
Premiere-level gymnast Katherine Magill, competing in her third and final national competition, said the event brought mixed emotions.
“It was definitely bitter sweet,” she said. “I wanted to go out being happy no matter what.”
Despite being disappointed by her first day of competition she still finished first on the beam, second on the floor and third all-around.
“The first day was a little rough for me,” Magill said. “I wasn’t ready to be done yet, and the second day was awesome.”
On the second day of competition, reserved for individual event finals, Magill shined with a second-place finish on the beam and tied for second on the bars. The feat was made even more impressive by the fact Magill had been battling several injuries throughout the year and had missed five months of training since last year’s national event.
“I’m definitely happy with the outcome at nationals,” she said. “How well I did was awesome. It made it easier to be done and let it go.”
Magill recently graduated from Nevada Union but will not be continuing her gymnastics career. She does, however, plan to compete for San Diego State’s track and field team as a pole vaulter.
Platinum Division gymnast Lilly Pruett, competing in her second USAIGC national competition, placed second on the beam and fourth all-around, advancing her to the second day for the individual finals on the beam.
Five first-timers from Gold Country Gymnastics traveled to the event, competing mostly in the Silver Division, and brought home second place as team, beating out 20 other teams in their division.
Gymnast Natalia Vinces Cacho-Sousa, 14, placed second on bars, fourth on vault and sixth in the all-around on day one.
On day two, she took first on the bars and became a USAIGC world champion in that event.
“I was nervous at first, but it was fun and interesting,” Vinces Cacho-Sousa said. “Every year, I get more comfortable, I think about it more, I just breath, keep calm, and I just go for it.”
Gymnast Sydney Shrader, 13, placed second in the all-around on day one and won both bars and beam making her USAIGC world champion in those two events. She also placed third on vault.
“I was shocked,” Shrader said. “I didn’t think I would do better at the nationals because of all the pressure, but my mom said, ‘You always do better under pressure.’ So I guess that was how it worked out.”
Magill said that Shrader has the perfect combination of grace and power, and that’s what makes her such a good gymnast.
Gymnast Alexa Arbaugh, 12, took third on the beam and ninth in the all-around and qualified for all four events in event finals.
“It was fun, but there was a lot of competition,” Arbaugh said. “It was really cool to see all the people from all over the world and United States.”
Despite being a little nervous, Arbaugh set a personal best on the beam with a 9.4.
Gymnast Kylie Lamb, 10, placed seventh on bars and 11th in the all-around and got her first 9 of the season in the floor exercise.
“My first day went really good, better then I thought,” Lamb said. “I set my personal best on floor, bars were pretty good and everything else was pretty good. It felt really nice to see that I was able to make it there and compete against all these teams from all over and make friends.”
Gymnast Sara McCormack placed eighth on beam and 15th in the all-around and qualified on beam for individual event finals to round things out for the girls from Gold Country Gymnastics.
All five of the Silver Division gymnasts said they look forward to next year’s competition and hope this latest experience will help them moving forward in their gymnastic careers.
All the gymnasts also gave a large amount of credit to their coach Kara Bennett for being able to compete and do so well on such a big stage.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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