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Area gymnasts win state title

Posted: March 24, 2014 - 10:32pm

River City Cheer and Gymnastics of Soldotna took the Level 2 state title this weekend at the USA Gymnastics Alaska State Meet 2014.

The meet, the focal point of year-round training, was held in Anchorage, drawing gymnasts from around the state.

The coaches for River City are Shannon Evarts and Cari Winger. Evarts said River City changed its training program last summer and is starting to see some great success.

“Our River City group consisted of five girls and most very new to the sport,” Evarts said in a released statement. “We walked into this meet thinking it would be a great experience for the girls, but had no idea that we would bring home a title.”

Kalee Vanderwall, 10, was the all-around champ in her age group. She piled up 37.825 points in the bars, vault, beam and floor. Milena Doyle, 10, took second on the balance beam, while Karen Evarts, 7, took first place in her age group on vault and floor. Katelyn Morrison, 8, took second in vault and bars and was second in the all-around in her age group with 36.650 points. Katelynn Yoder, 7, was third on uneven bars.

The work of the five girls at Level 2 was enough to unseat Arctic Gymnastics of Anchorage, which is one of the top gyms in the state.

River City also had a pair of Level 3 gymnasts turn in impressive performances. Isabella O’Quinn, 11, was third in the all-around with 36.100 points, only .35 from first place. Sophie Thomas, 12, took fourth on floor with a 9.250 and fifth on vault with a 9.35.

Evarts said 23 gymnasts are currently training at River City, so the future is bright.

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