Romero vaults toward college career
South Lake Tahoe gymnast Brooke Romero has been driving over Spooner Summit nearly every day for the past eight years to train at Carson City’s Silver State Gymnastics. But her familiar routine will wind down pretty soon, however, as Romero finishes her senior year at South Tahoe High and prepares for a probable collegiate gymnastics future.
“I’m sad, but I’m kind of ready to stop driving to Carson City every day. I’ve been doing that for eight years,” joked Romero, a Level 9 gymnast who has already taken official recruiting visits to Cal-State Sacramento and the University of California at Davis. “I’ve kind of outgrown the gym just because I’m a lot older now than most of the people who train there. So I’m kind of ready to move on. I’ve learned so much doing this. I really wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Romero, 18, conducted on-campus visits to both schools in October and may visits a few more schools this spring before selecting a college. Romero said she currently prefers Sacramento State, but will have to wait until the college recruiting season heats up again in early spring to see where she fits in schools’ plans. She added that both universities’ coaches have indicated that a partial or full scholarship may be available for the South Shore gymnast.
“I felt the (Sacramento State team) was really welcome and warm about having me,” Romero said. “I was made to feel very comfortable there.”
Romero’s most recent meet was quite an adventure. Silver State Gymnastics coaches chose not to attend the Technique Invitational on Jan. 23-24 in Sacramento because the weekend’s precipitation made roads dangerous. Romero resolved to attend the meet, and drove the 100 miles to Sacramento with her mother, Joan. Tournament regulations did not allow Romero to compete as an individual gymnast; all competitors must be accompanied by a coach. Luckily, Romero was able to put together a quid pro quo with Michael Anthony’s of Concord, Calif., a squad which needed an additional athlete to field the mandatory three-gymnast minimum.
The arrangement couldn’t have worked out any better as the makeshift squad won top honors in the regional tournament. Romero placed first on the balance beam, third in floor exercise and second in the all-around standings.
Next on Romero’s plate will be a national amateur competition this weekend at the Reno Hilton that is expected to draw more than 700 gymnasts from around the country.
“There’s are girls from the East Coast, Canada and Mexico, really all over the place,” said Romero, whose father, Dennis, is an assistant with the Vikings wrestling program. “It’s different to see how you do against people who you don’t normally compete against.”
Notes: Area gymnasts went head over heals as they did their thing at the Flips Invitiational Jan. 16 in Reno. The nationally reknown meet attracted more than 1,200 competitors, including several Division I prospects.
Romero topped local competitors with a pair of seventh-place finishes (vaults, floors) in the Level 9 competition in what she labeled her “warm-up meet.”
Kristen Carrion of Gardnerville added a first place on beam and fifth on the vault in Level 7 competition. Eleven-year-old South Shore native Katrina Kacirek scored fifth in floor exercise (Level 7), while
Gardnerville’s Shauna Davis finished fifth all-around in Level 6 action.
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After more than 70 years of operating with a term deemed derogatory by many Native Americans, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has changed its name to Palisades Tahoe.