Two Bainbridge Island boys held their own at the Men’s Region II Gymnastics Championships in Helena, Mont. It was the largest boys gymnastics competition in the Northwest.
Level 5 gymnast Abe Muldrow and Level 9 gymnast Nate Opalski both qualified for the competition by scoring well all around at the Washington State Meet in March.
In the regional meet in Montana, held in early April, the top 325 male gymnasts (Levels 5-10) from Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana battled for a chance to compete at the USA Gymnastics National Championships.
The region’s most outstanding athletes hit the mats with razor-sharp skills in all six events. They skinned-the-cat and doubled-back on the rings, they performed giants on the high-bar, dropped down into peach baskets and back up on the parallel bars, circled and flared on the pommel horse, flipped, sprung and twisted on the floor, and powered down the runway and executed Yamashitas and Tsukaharas over the vault.
Level 5 high-flier Abe Muldrow showed his mettle with an impressive 10th-place finish on the pommel horse. He was also outstanding in his floor routine and on vault. He nabbed 12th place in both events.
Level 9 luminary Nate Opalski excelled in his routines and nailed a notable eighth-place finish in the parallel bars.
The boys are coached by Bryan Garoutte and Tim Forro.
“The boys on the team have fun, but they work extremely hard all year-round,” Garoutte said.
“They conquer fears and learn new skills. To me, that’s the definition of success,” he said. “It’s inspiring for me to work with these kids.”