Four Menlo Park teens advance to regional gymnastics championships


Four Menlo Park teens – two boys and two girls – who train at Menlo Park's Arrillaga Family Gymnastics Center, outperformed other Northern California gymnasts March 20 and advanced to regional competitions with 40 to 60 of the best gymnasts in their levels in California, Arizona and Nevada, according to Pearce Wagner, gymnastics center program coordinator.

Noah Kim, 13, and Ezekiel Eason, 14, competed in the Level 6 Northern California gymnastics championships, held in Rancho Cordova, California. They each performed routines on the pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar and the floor.

Ezekiel took first place in the all-around competition, earning a place on the Northern California All Star team. Noah placed sixth in the all-around competition. They train at the Arrillaga Family Gymnastics Center with coaches Cameron Matzke, Nicole Hyde and Nathan Westfield.

Both boys will move on to the regional championships in Santa Clara from April 7 to 10.

Alexa Thomases, 14, and Sophia Simon, 13, competed April 2-3 in Livermore at the female Level 7 Northern California championships. They performed routines on the floor, vault, balance beam and bars. Sophia placed fifth all around and won first place on the uneven bars. Alexa placed 9th all around.

Both qualified to compete in the regional championships in Phoenix, Arizona, from April 22 to 24. They train at the Arrillaga Family Gymnastics Center with coaches Savina Krakowski and Nicole Hyde.

Gymnastics competitions are divided by levels. Levels 1 through 6 are considered "compulsory," in that they have a prescribed set of routines that competitors must perform, in increasing levels of difficulty, according to Mr. Wagner. At Level 7 and above, the routines are considered "optional," and competitors are allowed to create their own routines.

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