There is never a dull moment at the Michigan Level 9/10 State Meet, each year I run around the venue capturing as much video and as many photos I can of the competition, from those crazy moments to those amazing moments I see and hear them all! So, each year I put together my “Top 10 Highlights” from the meet. From new skills to a 32 year dynasty, and watching the Nastia Cup Champion contribute to history, was an incredible sight to witness. Please enjoy my Top 10 Highlights from the Michigan State Meet.
10. Venue:Kellogg Arena-Branch Gymnastics never disappoints when it comes to hosting outstanding meets and this one was no exception. From the awards staging area, to the
9. New Skills: Level 10s-There is nothing like showing up to state meet with new skills! I love seeing from year to year what athletes are changing things up and adding in new, hard and different skills. Mayleigh Vanderbeek, Champion USA (Video), competed a new vault for only the 2nd time a full twisting yurchenko. Delaney Harkness, Twistars USA, is also competing a new and very different vault and Matilyn Waligora, Olympia (Video), has added a tucked full-in as her opening pass to her floor routine.
8. 4 person team takes 4th place: Bay Valley Academy took 4th place this past weekend as a team. They had only 4 athletes competing, they beat out some impressive competition and a few larger teams to grab the last podium position in the team competition. This team may be small, but they are certainly mighty!
7. Unique Vaults: Vault has always been one of my favorite events, with everyone doing the same kind of vault these days, I find it very refreshing and fun to see athletes taking a chance and doing something out of the norm. Bria from Heartland, Cali from Gym America (Video), Dominique from Bay Valley (Video), Sage from All-American Flames, Rylie Johnstone from Midland (Video), Anne Maxim from Olympia (Video) and Delaney Harkness from Twistars USA (Video) all brought unique vaults to the table.
6. Last up takes top honor: Dominique Militello (Bay Valley Academy), was the last competitor of the Level 10 competition to compete on the balance beam, Dominique with a jammed pack beam routine nailed it when it counted to become the Senior B State Champion. (Video)
5. Unique Skills: Level 9-My favorite part of any meet is checking out the new and different skills and the level 9 session this year was full of them. Bria Morganroth of Heartland Gymnastics, had something unique on every event. From her back tuck bar dismount (Video) to her knee back handspring on floor (Video) and her arabian vault, she is certainly one to watch! I love innovation in routines.
4. 32 years undefeated-Twistars continues their Level 10 Domination by capturing their 32nd Michigan State Team Title. Twistars is certainly a force to be reckoned with at each level of compeition, but their 10s continue to dominate year after year.
3. Seniors: The Class of 2017- Each year I like to recognize the Senior Class, it takes a lot of handwork and determination to succeed in any sport, especially in Gymnastics. These young athletes, many of them continuing on with gymnastics post graduation, have dedicated countless hours to the sport they love. It is refreshing to see such a great group of athletes first something they started so many years ago!
2. Floor Choreography: In years past there have been only a handful of teams that have had amazing floor choreography. This year the list of teams with expressive dance, show stopping moves and entertaining music was limitless. This was not just in the level 10 session, teams displayed incredible choreography across the board, specifically Olympia, Bay Valley, Gym America and Oakland.
1. Historic Domination: 2017 Nastia Cup Champion Kai Rivers, Gedderts Twistars, swept her entire age division to win back to back All-Around Titles. The last athlete to swept an age division was Grace Williams, Gedderts Twistars, back in 2014 in the same venue. (Vault, Beam, Floor, Interview)