Two young gymnasts from the Concho Valley have advanced to the sport’s regional competition.
The competition is set up a little different than most sports in the Elite 8 division. Instead of competing at state, then regionals, in gymnastics Level Eight, gymnasts first compete at the state level then advance to regionals where they compete against gymnast from six other states. Texas’ region includes Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
Madison Vogel and Jadyn Sawyer recently competed in the Level Eight state meet in Frisco to qualify for regionals. The meet was held at the same gym where Olympic gymnasts Carly Patterson and Nastia Luikin trained. To qualify for regionals, competitors have to place in the top 11 or receive a score or a score of 35.8 at the state meet. Vogel placed ninth and Sawyer made the cut with a score above 35.8.
Vogel and Sawyer, both 12, spent up to three hours each weekday for several months training for the competition. Coach Todd Brothers, who is also the owner of Concho Valley Gymnastics, said even on their days off, the girls would often come to the gym. According to Brothers, only approximately one percent of the girls in his gym compete.
Vogel began gymnastics when she was 8 years old. Vogel said she used to practice gymnastics at the park when another gymnast noticed her ability. That’s when Vogel’s mother enrolled her in the sport. She began with the basics, bridges and walkovers, to now perfecting her back flip on the balance beam. Her favorite events are floor and vault, but she said she’s good at floor. Right now she’s working on her double full.
Sawyer also began gymnastic when she was 8, which she considers a late start.
“I think gymnastics is cool and I like that you can do all these cool tricks,” Sawyer said.
Her favorite event is the bars. She said she’s never scared of flipping from bar to bar. Sawyer’s skills have also grown tremendously in past four years. She can now to multiple back handsprings on the beam and on the floor she’s working on her double back.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work. This is my fourth year of gymnastics and I train a lot of hours. Even on my days off I come here,” she said.
Both Vogel and Sawyer have dreams of attending the University of Oklahoma on a gymnastic scholarship.
The Level 8 Regional Championship meet will be held on April 15-17 at the Texas Christian University campus in Fort Worth, Texas.