tampabay.com

Suncoast gymnasts quickly find groove

By Steve Lee
Published February 1, 2007


NEW PORT RICHEY - Suncoast Gymnastics coach Cindy Gwinn began training a group of recreational gymnasts in August. By December, those 6- to 8-year-olds were champions.

Kayla Flower, the all-around state champion with a 38.25 score, led the Level 2 team to a title in the Amateur Athletic Union State championships at the Tampa Convention Center.

"They walked in as beginning gymnasts and walked out as champs," said Gwinn, co-owner of the New Port Richey-based academy with her husband, Arnold.

"It was my most improved team from beginning to end since I started 18 years ago," Gwinn continued. "They found out that working hard paid off."

Level 3 gymnasts also ages 6-8 at a slightly higher competition class from Suncoast, led by all-around winner Angelica Stege (36.67), took third in the AAU tourney.

At Level 2, Erica Sims (uneven bars) and Crystal Gwinn (balance beam), Cindy's daughter, won individual events. Also included on that championship squad were Amanda Aylor, Savannah Kelly, Anastasia Legakis, Amanda Marnunas, Sarina Pacheo, Victoria Sass, Cassidy Skinner and Brianna Texter.

Level 3 individual winners were Adina Lipply (beam), Kaitlyn Clark (beam), Emma Touchton (vault) and Amanda Dunmire (floor exercises). Rounding out the team were Ally Butler, Maria Case, Karalee Corely, Allison Cortright, Alexis Duran, Hana Goettel, Devyn Howard, Natalie Keep, Danielle Malave, Sydni Schlosser, Cassandra Thompson and Jamie Thon.

More recently, Suncoast's Prep Optional and Level 8 teams won titles at the United States of America Gymnastics Battle of Champions, held Saturday and Sunday at the Lakeland Center.

Arnold Gwinn was especially impressed with the prep optionals, which is between Levels 6-7 and represents a jump to the sport's most competitive branches.

"It shows we have a future in our optional program, because they have the ability to do advanced skills," Arnold Gwinn said.

The prep optionals included Courtney Beason, Kelsey Bock, Cari Gonzalez, Megan Gulley, Morgan Kassmusen and Sarah Miller. The Level 8s were Natalie Marenghi (first all-around), Jaymi Baxter and Alexis Webb.

Additionally, two Level 10 gymnasts from Suncoast took first all-around in their age groups. Danielle Levy scored a 36.02 in the 15 age group and Kali Dunning a 35.72 in the 16-17s.

FOOTBALL'S COMING: The New Port Richey Buccaneers and the Pasco Police Athletic League will be holding signups for new and returning players Feb. 17 and 18 at the New Port Richey PAL Field at 5520 Grand Blvd.

On Feb. 17, the signups will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and on Feb. 18 from noon-3 p.m.

Children ages 5-16 are eligible. The fee is $145 and includes a personalized game jersey and game T-shirt for football players and practice shirt and shoes for the cheerleaders. Uniforms for the season are provided.

A parent's signature, proof of residency and deposit is required at sign in.

For more information, call (727) 846-8712 or visit nprbucs.org.

Steve Lee can be reached at lee@sptimes.com or (352) 521-6517.