Local Gymnasts Prepare for State Meet

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EUGENE, Ore. — Coming to Eugene, the 2013 State Gymnastics Championships. Five hundreds young girls will compete this weekend.

And in preparation for the meet, members from one local gym, Gymnastics Northwest, is getting in its last practice.

Their young ladies competing this weekend range in age from 11 to 18. They’ll be competing in state optionals, performing choreographed routines consisting of required elements judged on difficulty and execution.

Sarah Barker is just 11.

“(I like) the enthusiasm of it, what you can do with it and the tricks you can do,” Barker said.

At practice they perfect each event–uneven bars, vault, balance beam and floor. When competing, the pressure is on.

“Sometimes I do. I get ‘what ifs’ coming on, then my coach tells me just to relax,” Barker said.

The victory comes when they earn a high score.

“I think my highest is, I can’t remember. It’s either a 9.8 or a 9.7,” Barker said.

At the optionals, the girls compete at difficulty levels 7 through 10.

Myranda Schiller earned the state champ title in 2005.

“(I got) 9.8275 at a level 6 on beam, and that was the best feeling ever,” Schiller said.

She’s been competing for 12 years.

“It’s my passion. It’s been my passion since I was a little girl. I hope to go to college with it,” Schiller said.

OSU or Boise State, for now, it’s practice, practice, practice.

“They train many, many hours a week, and they are so dedicated, and it teaches goal setting,” said Julia Eagen, Gymnastics Northwest Coach. “The goal setting actually pays off.”

Each has their own goal. Each hopes to do their best. For Schiller, who’s already won a state title, she still hungry.

“Oh, yeah. For sure, I’m ready for one,” Schiller said.

The Oregon State Optional Gymnastics meet is this weekend at Northwest Christian University. It happens Friday from 5-9 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Morse Events Center, 828 E. 11th Ave. For a meet schedule, call Gymnastics Northwest at 541-688-8955. Admission is $8 for adults, $5  for seniors, $5 for children under 16 and $20 for a family.

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