Sweet performances by gymnasts Kacirek, Erickson | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Sweet performances by gymnasts Kacirek, Erickson

Gymnastics is alive and well on the South Shore, and the efforts of several local athletes at recent meets are a testament to that fact.

The most recent evidence could be found at the Sweetheart Invitational held Saturday and Sunday at Carson City’s Silver State Gymnastics. A pair of South Shore athletes competed with the Silver State team and area gymnasts from Tahoe Gymnastics joined in on the fun.

Katrina Kacirek, a student at Kingsbury Middle School, set the standard in Level 7 competition, placing first in beams, bars, vault and floor en route to the top spot in all-around. Carolyn Taricco, also of Kingsbury MS, was close on Kacirek’s heels, finishing second in beam, bars and vault and fifth on floor exercises. She finished second overall. Kristin Carrion, of Carson MS, won the all-around competition for the Level 7 competition for 13-year-olds, netting top honors in the vault.

Eight-year-old Tess Braun of Tahoe Gymnastics took third place in four events: vault (8.3), bars (7.8), beams (7.3), and floor (8.7). Competing against gymnasts from ages 7-9, Braun claimed second in the all-around competition in the 12-person field.

Tahoe Gymnastics’ Bailey Erickson, 12, scored first place in vault (8.7), bars (8.4) and beam (8.45). Erickson, a Level 6 gymnast, also earned first place all-around and received the second-highest all-around score of any gymnast at the meet.

“They just did amazing,” said Judi Sabo, owner of Tahoe Gymnastics, a local training and recreational facility. “I can’t tell you how thrilled we were with how they performed. We really had no expectations going in, and the kids ended up beating their levels.”

Sabo bought the gym in May 1998 and ended a revolving door of coaches when she promoted Amy Johnson to the position of youth head coach.

“Amy has coached these girls and has just done an excellent job,” Sabo said. “I give her all the credit for bringing the girls to the level they are at right now.”

Gymnastics has obvious advantages as a sport in an Alpine community like Lake Tahoe. It is an indoor sport, can be done year-round and is open to all ages and backgrounds. Sabo said she believes the sport will only continue to grow on the South Shore, both recreationally and competitively.

“I see it becoming very popular here, because it’s such an all-around sport,” said Sabo, who counts the Heavenly ski and snowboard teams among her regular patrons. “It trains you for any sport: your conditioning, flexibility, overall toning and strengthening as well as balance. It’s not just a sport for kids. It’s a great workout even for adults.”

Romero vaults to success at Hilton Invitational:

South Tahoe High senior Brooke Romero tested her wares against some national competition Feb. 6-7 at the Hilton Invitational in Reno, and the results were once again positive.

Romero, a Level 9 gymnast, won Saturday’s all-around competition and advanced to the finals for the vault, beam and floor disciplines. Romero’s preliminary round results included a 9.4 score in vaults, the highest score heading into finals. Romero finished sixth on both beam and vaults during Sunday’s championship rounds.

Erin Gardner, of Carson HS and a teammate of Romero at Silver State, placed second all-around during the Saturday event.

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