Missoula Gymnastics Team Shines in Regional, National Competition
Their youngest member may be just 7 years old, but a Missoula gymnastics and dance team will bring big experience on the road as they've traveled and will continue to travel, to various regional, and national competitions over the next few weeks.
"This season we had a lot of success with all these guys, state champions, regional qualifiers, national qualifiers, elite qualifiers," said Coach Chris Bustard during a visit on Daybreak with Dennis this week. "Really cool."
Among the standouts on the team this year was 17-year-old Kaitlyn Tenesch, who recently won vault, beam, and floor competitions at the Girls State Championships in Helena.
She says her years in the program have been amazing.
"I love that I get to be dedicated to something that I love and be with my best friends every day," Tenesch explained.
But the younger teammates are developing too
10 year old Matayah Rogers, 15-year old Gwynn Campbell and their teammate, Morgan DiMaggio all qualified to represent Montana in a State Team Competition at Regionals. They competed against teams from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii. Gwynn received a perfect 10 on vault.
Others are even younger
Matayah's younger sister, 7-year old Maylah Rogers, is just as enthusiastic as her older teammates, and her eyes light up as she takes her place with the other girls. She's on the "fast track" program, which allows her to train 3-to-4 hours a day to advance her skills.
Level 10 gymnast Chloe La, after winning bars at State Championships, is working hard on her elite routines and will be competing in June in Allentown PA to earn a qualifying score to the American Classic.
Boys doing great as well
Kaleb Tooke, Level 9 gymnast, and Big Sky High student, won floor and rings at his state championships and has earned a spot in regionals and from there qualified for Western Championships. He just returned from Galveston TX where he placed 6th on the floor, 9th on the vault and high bar, and placed 10th in the All Around.
All those results are impressive. But Bushard says it's really about building strength and skills for life.
"I think the main thing, the philosophy of our program is we are primarily to try and produce good, young adults, as they move forward. And I think as long as we hold that true to that philosophy it produces good work ethic as well as determination towards reaching their goals."