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Sussex Countian
  • Mid-Coast Gymnastics shows well at USAIGC international competition

  • Mid-Coast Gymnastics earned three team medals to accompany several individual medals during their recent trip to the USAIGC international competition in Florida.


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  • Mid-Coast Gymnastics earned three team medals to accompany several individual medals during their recent trip to the USAIGC international competition in Florida.
    The gymnastics club, co-owned and coached by Kim Wickham and Leslie Ziolkowski in Selbyville for the last 18 years, had teams representing them at three levels – bronze, silver and gold.
    The gold division, led by all-around winner Abbie Baker, earned second in their group, as did the silver team in their division. The bronze squad won third-place honors for their performance.
    “I don’t think we left the gym the whole time,” Wickham joked after the weeklong event in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. from June 25-July 1.
    One of the standouts from the meet was 10-year-old Abbie Baker, who won five first-place trophies to go along with her second-place finish with the gold team.
    “She’s got a lot of talent,” Wickham said of Baker.
    Baker, who said her preferred events are the beam and bars, set four personal bests at the meet. Next season, Baker hopes to advance to Level 9 and earn a spot in the platinum division.
    Other notable performers for Mid-Coast were gold-teamer Cassidy VanVonno and Brooke Ward, who took first in the all-around competition at the silver level.
    “The tournament was really exciting,” said VanVonno, whose favorite events are the floor exercise and bars. “It gives you a great idea of where you are in the gymnastics world.”
    For Ward, who earned her second all-around title in the past three years at the international meet, she was just happy to be there.
    “I was shocked I did so well,” Ward said.
    Wickham, whose gymnasts ranged from the ages of 8-17 at the competition, leads her group to the national tournament every other year depending on the location and club budget. This year, the event was international as gymnasts flew in from Canada, Bermuda and South Africa.
    The Mid-Coast Gymnastics club was the only team to have three groups place in the competition.
    Wickham and fellow coach Leslie Ziolkowski now shift their focus to hosting future USAIGC and USAG national meets in Georgetown.
    For the young gymnasts, they shift their attention to cheering on the U.S. Olympic team as they prepare for this year’s Summer Olympics in London.
    “I’ve watched all the big competitions,” VanVonno said. “Some day I’d love to go to the Olympics.”
    Many of the girls are particularly fond of national-team star Gabby Douglas after watching her first-hand at a meet a few years ago.
    “We went to her meet and have been following [Douglas] ever since,” Ward said. “Watching the Olympic Trials makes you even more motivated to work to be there,”

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