Think of it as a training ground for the Central High School co-op gymnastics team.
Nogare’s Gymnastics Academy in Pueblo has naturally become the feeder program for the high school team. The success the athletes achieve from the time they can walk steadily progresses over their years at the academy.
“A lot of the girls, probably 90%, on the high school team come from Nogare’s,” said Kelsey Downs, who coaches many of the programs and teams. “Gym-wide and the rec classes we probably have 200 kids. We start classes at 18 months.”
The academy offers beginner (3-4 years old), advanced beginner, intermediate and when the girls are ready, competitive team programs in conjunction with the USA Gymnastics Excel Program.
Those four programs vary from bronze, silver, gold and platinum teams.
“We have 27 girls in our bronze, 19 in silver, nine in gold and four in platinum,” Downs said. “The younger girls are still in season and have their state meets coming up in June.”
The gold and platinum groups just completed their state meets and brought home numerous medals. Not only did they win a number of individual state awards, both teams qualified a number of girls for regionals. Seven states will be represented at regionals — Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Both teams won state team titles.
The regionals are the final step of competition since USA Gymnastics doesn’t offer national events.
Here were the individual titles for the gold team at the state meet:
- Jordan Alfonso — 2nd place vault , 1st place bars, 3rd place beam, 1st place state champ floor, 1st place all-around
- Ava Grace Cozzetto — 4th place vault , 1st place state bars , 1st place beam, 2nd place floor, 1st place all-around
- Brynn Clementi — 2nd place vault, 2nd place bars, 2nd place beam, 2nd place floor, 1st place all-around
- Delaney Gray — 2nd place vault, 1st place bars, 2nd place beam, 2nd place floor, 1st place all-around
- Maci Johnson— 7th place vault, 2nd place bars, 3rd place beam, 1st place floor, 3rd place all-around
- Cora Marmolejo— 4th place bars , 6th place beam, 6th place all-around
- Dangery Martinez — 2nd place bars, 1st place floor, 3rd place all-around
- Avery Mead— 1st place vault, 1st place bars, 1st place beam, 1st place all-around
- Badyn Robinson — 3rd place vault, 1st place bars, 3rd place beam, 3rd place floor & 3rd place all around
Here are the platinum team state results:
- Angelina Capritta — 1st place floor
- Karlee Jo Knabenshue — 2nd place vault
- Lily Nibert — 1st place vault 1st place bars,, 3rd place beam, 2nd place floor, 2nd place all-around
- Autumn Zumpf— 1st place floor, 5th place vault, 4th place beam, 2nd place all-around
Downs said this year’s teams were some of the most talented in recent memory.
“I’ve been coaching since 2010 and I’ve had state champs multiple years,” Downs said. “We’ve also had a number of individual regional champs. This year’s gold team is strong on the parallel bars while the platinum team is strong on vault and floor exercise.
“I’ve been coaching many of these girls since they were 5 and 6. It’s fun to see how they progress throughout the years.”
The academy also has a booster club that raises money for the gymnastics season and that helps defer costs of travel, lodging and fees.
It’s all part of an academy atmosphere that sets the girls up to achieve success and a big part of why Downs appreciates being their coaching.
“The best thing is seeing the girls have fun and succeed,” Downs said. “They all enjoy doing gymnastics and I love seeing them succeed and reach their personal goals.”
Chieftain senior sports reporter Jeff Letofsky can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeffletofsky