The 2021-2022 season is proving to be a first for the city of Rutland and the sport of gymnastics. On March 19 and 20, the Rutland Community Center will host almost 300 gymnasts in the Vermont Gymnastics State Championships.
After almost a decade of this championship meet being held in Bellows Falls, pandemic rules prevented the USA Gymnastics affiliated group from renting their building space. Gym owners across the state helped to seek a new location and ultimately, the Community Center was chosen. State director Jill Vanderpot said, “We are excited to bring our state championships to a new site and have a new community to explore.”
Vermont athletes will arrive ready to tumble, vault and balance their way to the podium hoping to earn individual and team titles. Gymnasts in some programs will be seeking a spot on the Vermont regional team.
Northern Vermont is represented by Kingdom Gymnastics of St. Johnsbury, Regal Gymnastics Academy of Essex, Green Mountain Training Center of Williston and Champlain Valley Gymnastics of South Burlington. Central Vermont is represented by Central Vermont Gymnastics Academy of Waterbury, Sunrise Gymnastics of Barre and Northern Lights Gymnastics of White River Junction. Southern Vermont is represented by Cobra Gymnastics of Rutland and Brattleboro Gymnastics of Brattleboro.
Another first for Rutland is the debut of Rutland High School in the winter sports gymnastics scene. Karena Kuehl, a sophomore was an independent for RHS this season and traveled with the Burr & Burton Gymnastics team. Kuehl is a 9-year member of the Cobra Gymnastics team and was proud to represent her school for the first time.
Cobra Gymnastics in Rutland will send 51 gymnasts to the event, competing in four of the seven meets throughout the weekend. Owner Shelby Barsalou feels prepared and excited for the upcoming event.
“Our girls did well these past two weekends in competitions and have been training diligently. We feel they are ready to perform to their potential,” she said.
This will be the first authentic state meet the girls have competed in since 2019, so anticipation is high. Cobra’s bronze, silver and gold teams captured wins at the Waterbury based Darn Tough Classic this past weekend.
Spectator seating is limited at the state championships, but the event can be live streamed on sportscopelive.com. More information can be found on the Vermont Gymnastics website: vermontgymnastics.com.