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Gymnastic academy’s vets showing youths ropes

Steve Yingling

With youth gymnastics being scored tougher than ever before, Tahoe Gymnastics Academy coach George Hery Jr. is thankful that he has pupils who are rising to the challenge and setting an example for the team’s youngsters.

Jake Junge won the high bar and was second in the all-around in class three (14 and older) at the Stanford Open Gymnastics meet recently in Palo Alto, Calif. Junge also was second on floor exercise and third on rings.

Teammate Raion Sabo, also a class three competitior (12-13 division) placed in top 30 in all six events and finished 27th in the all-around.

“I’m excited about Jake and Ryan … they’re doing some really hard gymnastics,” Hery Jr. said. “They reward guys who can go out there and do every trick in the book. Maybe in the Olympics they can do that. It’s the hardest I’ve seen because the difficulty of skills has gone so high.

“There were over 150 kids in each age division, so to be in the top 30 in any event was pretty incredible.”

While Junge and Sabo are raising the bar for TGA, there are many young gymnasts under Hery Jr.’s and Judy Sabo’s tutelage who may lift it higher in the future.

Jason Reuem, a 7-year-old competing in class seven, was ninth in all-around because he won the high bar and finished seventh in parallel bars.

Other class seven results were turned in by Garrett Singer, 22nd in all-around and top 30 in all six events; and Matt Zane, 23rd in all-around and a top-30 placer in all six events. In class seven for 8- and 9-year-olds, Mitchell Lincoln came in 21st in all-around; Peter Colwell, sixth on high bar and 25th in all-around; and C.J. Linder, 27th in all-around.

In class six competition for 9-year-olds, David Levesque was in top form on the high bar and vault, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. Those results helped him take 14th in all-around.

Kevin Greist, also a class six who was participating in the 6-7 age group, upstaged most of the field in placing fifth on rings and 12th in all-around. K.C. Tara put on a pommel horse clinic en route to a fourth-place finish. That high showing enabled him come in 23rd in all-around.

“If K.C.’s other events get as good as pommel horse, then he’s going to be someone to watch, because his pommel horse has gotten really good,” Hery Jr. said.

Ricky Braun, the team’s sole class five competitor, came in 17th in all-around based on his consistent performances in each event.

The young team will compete March 2-3 in Reno and then move on to the state championships March 23-24 in Las Vegas.

But the most enticing event is the regional championships set for April 2-6 in Hawaii.

“Hopefully, everyone qualifies for the regionals,” said the vacation-minded Hery Jr.


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