RUTLAND—Over the weekend of March 18-19, the Cobra Gymnastics Team participated in the superhero-themed Vermont State Gymnastics Championships at Bellows Falls High School.
A cosmic team banner depicted the gymnasts as their own kind of superheros. Their motto of the day was a quote from author Roman Payne who said, “You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.” Completing their five month competition season, the Cobra team represented the Rutland area in strong form.
Cobra is one of 13 privately owned gyms in the state of Vermont. Led by coaches Shelby Collett, Ali Natowich, Topsy King and Lori Bullet, the team sent 42 gymnasts to compete against 281 other gymnasts from around the state. Competing in six different levels throughout the weekend, Cobra brought home nine individual State Champion titles and numerous other podium finishes.
In the Junior Olympic competition, level seven gymnast Ella Tashjian of Manchester is celebrating an all-around state title in the 8-10-year-old age group with a 36.275, and also earned a qualifying spot on the Vermont Regional Team. She will join six other gymnasts from Le Studio, Green Mountain and Regal Gymnastics to represent Vermont on April 21-22 in Springfield, Mass. This is Ella’s fourth year on the Cobra team and fourth year winning a state title. Tashjian trains four days a week in Rutland and said she wishes she lived closer so she could train more!
In the Xcel Gold competition, Abigail McChesney of Pawlet won the beam, floor and all-around state titles in the 11-12-year-old age group as well as earning herself a spot on the Xcel Gold Vermont Regional Team. She will be joining six other gymnasts from Regal and Green Mountain Gymnastics and traveling to Shrewsbury, Mass., on April 20-21 to represent Vermont. This is McChesney’s fourth year on the Cobra team and her first year winning a state title!
In the Xcel Silver competition, two first-year competitors won titles for Cobra. In the 8-10-year-old age group, Clara Vickers of Danby claimed the vault title with a 9.4, while Jayla Eugair of Brandon claimed the bars title with a 9.6 in the 11-12 year old age group.
In the Xcel Gold competition, in the 8-10 age group, Tayah Fuller of Poultney, claimed the bars title with an 8.8. This is Fuller’s second consecutive year with a state title and fourth year on the team. In the same age group, Sarah Martin of Rutland claimed the vault title with a 9.125. This is her first state title and fifth year on the team.
In the Junior Olympic competition Lissa King of Manchester, claimed the level four bar title in the 6-8 year old age group with a score of 8.9. King has been training with Cobra since she was 4 years old and has been on the team for the past three years. Robin Tashjian of Manchester claimed the floor title with a 9.5 in the highly competitive 9-10 year old group. Tashjian has been on the team for the past three years; this is her first state title.
In the Optionals competition, Maleah Jones of Rutland claimed the level 6 beam title in the 8-10-year-old age group with a 9.325 and the floor title with a 9.7. Jones has been doing gymnastics since the age of 3 and has been on the team for the past five years. This is her third consecutive year with a state title.
In the team competitions, the top three scores from each event are counted. In the highly competitive Junior Olympic Program, the level 4 and level 6 teams both took second place with scores of 108.875 and 110.075 respectively. The level 3 team placed sixth with a score of 108.925 and the level 7 team placed fifth with 104.975.
In the Xcel Programs, the Silver team took fourth place with a score of 109.95 and the Gold team took second place with a 109.125.
The Cobra Bronze team will compete in their final sanctioned meet on March 26 at Green Mountain Gymnastics in Williston. Cobra will host its fun meet on April 9 where all the athletes are invited to compete against each other in good spirit. Cobra will also host its annual Cobra show on May 7. All are invited to watch.
Other Podium finishers for the Cobra Gymnasts were:
Xcel Silver – Ava Moran, 9.375 Beam.
Xcel Gold – Tayah Fuller, 8.95 Vault, 8.95 Floor and 34.975 All –Around. Sarah Martin, 8.55 Beam. Abby McChesney, 9.375 Beam.
JO Level 3 – Kaelin Oxley, 8.8 Floor
JO Level 4 – Nadia Tarbell, 9.375 Beam.
JO Level 6 – Maleah Jones, 36.375 All Around. Karena Kuehl, 9.0 Beam, 9.0 Floor. Mia Marsh, 9.425 Floor. Lili Zens, 9.375 Beam.
Xcel Silver – Gabriella Sicard, 9.425 Beam (tie) and Caitlin Hayes, 9.275 Vault (tie).
Xcel Gold – Tayah Fuller, 8.275 Beam. Sarah Martin 8.6 Bars and 34.775 All-Around. Sierra McDermott, 9.050 Bars. Abby McChesney, 9.2 Vault.
JO Level 3 – Jada Hughes, 8.725 Floor. Kaelin Oxley, 8.45 Bars. Isabella Adams, 9.225 Floor (tie). Neely Turner, 9.275 Vault. Margaret Merrow, 9.050 Floor and 36.675 All-Around.
JO Level 4 – Lissa King, 8.5 Vault. Emma Parker, 8.95 Bars. Nadia Tarbell, 9.325 Floor.
JO Level 6 – Maleah Jones, 9.0 Vault, 8.35 Bars. Mia Marsh, 9.125 Beam and 35.450 All-Around. Lili Zens, 36.825 All-Around.
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Photos by Performance Photography