News: K-Bay gymnasts compete, win awards
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay - Gymnastics competed in the United States of America Gymnastics Junior Artistic Olympics Gymnastics Hawaii State Championship at Kroc Center in Ewa Beach, Nov. 17 and 18.
The young gymnasts, who are children of Marines, sailors and civilians aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, went up against eight other gymnastics teams from around the island. The children ranged from ages 7–12 and competed in three levels of competition, bringing home various medals and trophies.
“I think the K-Bay team showed a good performance in this competition,” said Di Rodin, the director and head coach in K-Bay Gymnastics and Dance Movement Academy. “This is the result
of long-term training and dedication from coaches, parents and the (work of the) gymnasts to make it a success.”
The young women perfect their many gymnastics skills four days a
week, for three hours each. Each student competed in divisions separated by age and level.
Each gymnast is different in how quickly they progress in skill, though Rodin estimates students will practice for about a year before advancing to a new level. But regardless of their skill level, Rodin encourages her students to be dedicated and disciplined, among many other qualities, as well as to have fun.
“Gymnastics is a competitive sport,” Rodin said. “Gymnastics training requires discipline, dedication, consistency, trust, respect, responsibility, defining excellence of character and performance, and lots of fun.”
Jordyn Durham received first place in Level 4 of the Age 10 Junior Division. Durham said she was excited to receive first place in her first time competing in the Hawaii State Championship.
The 10-year-old has been practicing gymnastics for two years. She was inspired to become a gymnast after watching the Olympics.
“I saw all the girls doing it and I thought it was a lot of fun,” Durham said.
Maria Hiel achieved first place in the Age 12-13 Junior Division for the vault category of the competition.
“I wanted to do my best and I wanted to make my mom proud,” Hiel said of her performance. “I think I improved, I didn’t know I could do that well.”
Hiel started gymnastics at the age of seven, due to her high energy levels at a young age. She said she hopes to continue with gymnastics as she gets older, and eventually wants to learn how to do Arabian flips.
Hannah Barnett placed fifth in the Level 6 category at the championship. The 10-year-old said she was satisfied with her performance and felt she improved in several areas.
A veteran gymnast who started practicing at the age of three, Barnett competed in her fourth competition on Nov. 17 and 18. Early next year, Barnett plans to advance to Level 7.
Like her friend Hiel, Barnett was full of energy and movement when she was much younger, and her family decided to put her energy to good use through gymnastics. She said she remembers standing and turning on the coffee table at home.
Barnett plans to continue practicing gymnastics well into her high school years, and is eager to learn a double full layout, a particular advanced gymnast’s move. Tiffany Adelman, Barnett’s mother, described her actions as “dedication at its best” during this year’s Princess Classic competition.
While attempting a dismount from the balance beam, Barnett
fell and pulled the muscles in her ribs. Paramedics wrapped bandages across her ribs and recommended rest. However, Barnett refused to rest and finished the competition before leaving for the emergency room.
“She ended up doing a beautiful routine and received her best floor
score of the season,” Adelman said. “The meet was over, and off the ER we went.”
Adelman personally felt the girls are in a good team and should be ranked among the top three in the state.
“Each gymnast has grown and learned a lot in skills, team work,
responsibility, safety awareness,” Rodin said. “(They are experiencing) the feeling of seeing (the) results of good work.”
The K-Bay gymnasts plan to compete in the upcoming Aloha Gymfest 2013 at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua, on Jan. 18, 19 and 20. Gymnastics teams worldwide will also compete in this event. For more information about K-Bay Gymnastics, visit http://www.kbaygymnastics.com/.