Goose Creek gymnastics program soars at contest

Pictured are the state champions from the Goose Creek Gymnastics Aerials. Front (from left) are Hailey Helton, Jalyse Iler, Kelsey Richards, Henley Nicodin, Emily Poston, Vanessa Waters; (middle) Ava Morgan, Hunter Strohl, Mikal Greene, Deacon Lavigne, Karina Greene; (back) Micah Kennedy, coach Jill Simpson, Savannah Gren, Olivia Davis, Olivia Hasegawa, coach Jason Simpson and Makaila Madison.

The Goose Creek Gymnastics Aerials had an outstanding performance at the USA Gymnastics Xcel State Championships at Furman University in Greenville.

The Aerials, coached by Jason and Jill Simpson, took home 11 gold medals, 12 silver medals and 19 bronze medals.

“We started the program in 2008 out of the Casey Community Center, so it’s a pretty new program,” Jill Simpson said. “Altogether we have about 200 girls and about 20 boys in the program. About 45 of them compete.”

Simpson said the competition gymnasts range in age from 5 to 15.

In competitions, girls participate in four disciplines: vault, bar, beam and floor. Boys compete in vault, floor, pommel horse, rings, high bars and parallel bars.

Olivia Davis, competing in the Bronze Xcel 9-10 age group, and Emily Poston, competing in the Bronze Xcel 6-year-old age group, were all-around champions at the Xcel State Championships. Deacon Lavigne was chosen to compete on the state team at the Region 8 championships.

Gold medal winners included: all-around, Olivia Davis and Emily Poston; vault, Olivia Davis and Mikal Greene; bars, Kelsey Richards; beam, Henley Nicodin and Micah Kennedy; floor, Vanessa Waters, Olivia Davis and Hunter Strohl; and rings, Hunter Strohl.

Silver medalists: all-around, Savannah Gren; vault, Macy Gleaton, Henley Nicodin and Savannah Gren; bars, Olivia Hasegawa; high bar, Hunter Strohl; beam, Nevaeh Quinn, Savannah Gren, Olivia Davis, Karina Greene and Jalyse Iler; and floor, Emily Poston.

Bronze medalists: all-around, Hunter Strohl, Micah Kennedy and Kelsey Richards; vault, Ryan Singer, Emily Poston and Micah Kennedy; bars, Emily Poston, Karina Greene, Charis Woodall and Savannah Gren; beam, Emily Poston, Kelsey Richards, Vanessa Waters, Victoria Hogan and Olivia Hasegawa; floor, Henley Nicodin, Nevaeh Quinn and Olivia Hasegawa; and pommel horse, Hunter Strohl.

The Xcel bronze team finished 12th out of 30 teams, and the silver team was 11th out of 26.

The Aerials brought home another 69 medals while competing in the 2013 South Carolina AAU District Championships, including 19 golds, 36 silvers and 14 bronzes. Kelsey Richards, Vanessa Water, Ava Morgan and Olivia Hasegawa won all-around gold. The Bronze team finished fourth, and the Silver team finished second.

Gold medalists: all-around, Kelsey Richards, Vanessa Waters, Ava Morgan and Olivia Hasegawa; vault, Kelsey Richards, Emily Poston, Vanessa Waters, Hailey Helton (tie), Ava Morgan, Olivia Hasegawa and Kara Owens (tie); bars, Karina Greene (tie), Olivia Hasegawa and Savannah Gren; beam, Jalyse Iler, Vanessa Waters, Makaila Madison and Savannah Gren; and floor, Emily Poston.

Silver medalists: all-around, Henley Nicodin, Alyssa Cousino, Hailey Helton, Makaila Madison, Savannah Gren and Kara Owens; vault, Alyssa Cousino, Makaila Madison, Karina Greene and Macy Gleaton; bars, Kelsey Richards, Henley Nicodin, Alyssa Cousino, Vanessa Waters, Olivia Law and Victoria Hogan; beam, Kelsey Richards, Nevaeh Quinn, Henley Nicodin, Hailey Helton, Ava Morgan, Karina Greene, Macy Gleaton, Victoria Hogan, Olivia Law and Olivia Hasegawa; floor, Henley Nicodin, Ryanne Cochran, Vanessa Waters, Ava Morgan, Olivia Hasegawa, Kara Owens and Olivia Law.

Bronze medalists: all-around, Nevaeh Quinn, Jalyse Iler, Karina Greene, Macy Gleaton, Victoria Hogan and Olivia Law; vault, Henley Nicodin and Savannah Gren; bars, Nevaeh Quinn and Kara Owens; beam, Alyssa Cousino; floor, Hailey Helton, Victoria Hogan, Micah Kennedy and Taylor Morrissey.

Eight team members participated in Xcel Region 8 Championships last weekend in Clemson with Savannah Gren earning silver in the floor and bronze on the vault. Olivia Law was second on bars in Xcel gold.