By Larry Grossman
Photo special to SneakPEAK
The Vail Valley is well known for producing a number of gifted athletes in many disciplines. Pro skiers, mountain bikers, and tri-athletes all reside in our valley. There is one coach in the valley who is looking to add an entire new line of these great athletes to that list in the world of gymnastics. Heather Gilger and Mark Rosenstein, who are responsible for the Vail Recreation District’s gymnastics program, have developed a very successful program and group of athletes, both male and female. Currently in the off-season, the program is in full training mode right now, with 35 girls and 11 boys preparing for the upcoming season. The program has shown tremendous growth since 2008, when there were only 8 girls on the team.
The 2012 season saw many great success stories come out of the VRD Gymnastics program. Sage Abel, Kate Pittel and Kara Woodland have all had stellar performances in several disciplines at the State Gymnastics Meet in March, and Natalie Morrissey, 15, of Eagle, won the all-around. At the Gypsum compulsory meet this spring, the Vail team took home first place in virtually every competition category. These meets are all through the state’s sanctioning body, Colorado USA Gymnastics (COUSAG).
It is clear that all the hard work and coaching is paying off for these athletes. They are in the gym two to four days a week practicing their routines and working on new skills. Their website has a wealth of information pertaining to any and every question you may want answered as it relates to Colorado gymnastics. You can find meet schedules, rules, and meet results.
For youth interested in getting involved with the Vail Rec District gymnastic program, see www.vailrec.com, which explains the different levels of classes from those for first-time newbies to more experienced athletes. There are classes for preschoolers and tumbling and trampoline classes as well, and the team hopes to increase the number of boys on the team to twenty this year. Prices range from $45 to $90 monthly depending on the program you sign up for. Bottom line is that there is a program for every athlete at every level. To find out more please contact the Vail Rec District at 970-479-2286 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
And go get your tumble on.