Gymnasts get season off to a flying start

Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 15:24
  • Chugiak’s Kaitlyn Forbush competes in the balance beam during a a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Isabelle Torres competes in the bars during a three-team gymnastics meet on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2018 at Chugiak High. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak gymnasts warm up on the balance beam during a three-team gymnastics meet on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2018 at Chugiak High. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Jordan Jones competes in the balance beam during a tri-meet on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2018 at Chugiak High. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak gymnast Mikayla Monastra competes in the floor exercise during a a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River gymnast Haley Lucas competes in the floor exercise during a a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak gymnast Emily Rand competes in the floor exercise during a a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Jordan Jones competes in the balance beam during a a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak gymnasts watch a teammate compete during a a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Jordan Jones competes in the floor exercise during a a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak as teammates Haley Lucas and Aurora Pennington look on. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak coach Wendy Wiltfong spots one of her gymnasts during a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River gymnasts report to the judges’ station before the balance beam event at a three-team gymnastics meet on Aug. 23 at Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Gymnasts flew into action for first high school meet of the season Aug. 23 at Chugiak High.

Emily Rand led the way for a high-flying Chugiak team with wins in both the balance beam and floor exercise.

“I’m really excited for this season,” said Chugiak head coach Wendy Wiltfong.

Wiltfong said she’s got about 20 athletes in the program, with about 10 of those having previous gymnastics experience.

That experienced showed in the season-opening meet, where Chugiak athletes dominated the standings. Kaitlyn Forbush was second in both the vault and beam and third on the bars for the Mustangs, who also got strong showings from Mikayla Monastra (third beam, fourth vault and floor, fifth beam) Trinity Nusbaum (second-place floor, fourth bars, fifth beam) and Samantha Wooley (second bars, fourth beam, fifth vault).

Wiltfong said this year’s squad is one of the deepest she’s had at Chugiak.

“It’s a special group of girls,” she said.

Eagle River has about eight gymnasts out for the program said third-year head coach Holly Adkins. The Wolves are inexperienced, and most of the team’s athletes are participating in at least one other sport this fall.

“We have a lot of newcomers,” Adkins said.

The goals for this year’s team are modest.

“The goal is to have fun and learn a little bit to become an active viewer,” she said.

Eagle River’s top performance Thursday was turned in by newcomer Jordan Jones, who tied for fourth in the floor exercise despite never having previously competed in gymnastics.

“She comes with a competitive dance background, so she has a great sense of balance and core strength,” said Adkins, who is coaching this year with help from her daughter, Elle.

Eagle River’s Izzy Torres finished 10th on the balance beam and tied for ninth in the vault with teammate Hailey Lucas. Lucas’s sixth place finish on the uneven bars was the top individual finish for the Wolves.

Adkins said she hopes the team can improve throughout the season, and her goal as a coach is to keep the team motivated and enjoying the sport.

“If it’s not fun they’re not going to do it,” she said.

Chugiak and Eagle River gymnasts will be on the mats again Friday, Sept. 7 for a three-team meet with West beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Gymnastics Tri-Meet

Thursday, Aug. 23

Chugiak High

Unven bars

1) Terryn Woods, Service, 6.025; 2) Samantha Wooley, Chu, 4.90; 3) Kaitlyn Forbush, 4.450; 4) Trinity Nusbaum, Chu, 4.325; 5) Mikayla Monastra, Chu, 4.1

Vault

1) Terryn Woods, Ser, 7.8; 2) Kaitlyn Forbush, Chu, 7.6; 3) Dakota Ramirez, Ser, 7.5; 4) (tie) Mikayla Monastra, Chu, and Samantha Wooley, Chu, 7.2

Beam

1) Emily Rand, Chu, 7.2; 2) Kaitlyn Forbush, Chu, 7.2; 3) Mikayla Monastra, Chu, 7.0; 4) Samantha Wooley, Chu, 6.6; 5) (tie) Trinity Nusbaum, Chu, and Terryn Woods, Ser, 6.3

Floor

1) Emily Rand, 8.22; 2) Trinity Nusbaum, Chu, 7.4; 3) Terryn Woods, Ser, 7.2; 4) (tie) Mikayla Monastra, Chu, and Jordan Jones, ER, 6.8

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