By Ashley Lodato
Sixth-grader Gabby Studen and eighth-grader Amelia Bondi have qualified for the Compulsory State Championships in gymnastics, which will be held on Friday (April 20) at Garland Gymnastics in Kennewick. The two gymnasts qualified for the state tournament by virtue of their top finishes at the Eastern Region Sectionals in Spokane Valley last week.
Both will compete in Level 4 routines. Each level, from 1-10, adds a particular set of skills with increasing difficulty that must be worked into the routines. For perspective, college gymnasts are at Level 10 and Olympic gymnasts are at the “Elite” level. There will be 255 Level 4 gymnasts competing at the state tournament; all will perform the same routines, which is the “compulsory” aspect of the competition.
Each gymnast at the state tournament, including Studen and Bondi, will compete in all four events: floor exercise, vault, uneven bars and balance beam. Each event is scored on a 1-10 scale, with deductions from 10 for mistakes; thus each athlete has the potential to earn an all-around score of up to 40 (which simply never happens). At the regionals, Bondi earned a 34.2 and Studen earned a 34.8.
The gymnasts train at Apple Valley Gymnastics, traveling to Wenatchee twice a week or more to work on their routines and fitness in the gym. At the state tournament, the girls will be competing as individuals, although they are affiliated with the Apple Valley Gymnastics team.
After competing at the state gymnastics tournament on Friday evening, Bondi will travel to Auburn to participate in Saturday’s Washington State National History Day competition.