GRAFTON—Two local girls have been competing this season for the Mountain Magic Gymnastics Team out of the Aerial Port Gym in Fairmont, WV. The girls have been to seven meets this season and have traveled to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio,Tennessee and all over West Virginia showing off their impressive skills.
The two fine young gymnasts are Caroline Wellman and Rielee McGuffey and they are both Optional Gymnasts.
The athletes compete in either compulsory or optional exercises or both. The compulsory routines are developed with varying levels of difficulty so the athletes use the compulsories to develop their skills progressively. Optional routines are choreographed by the gymnast and their coach. Optional routines are usually unique to each particular gymnast while compulsories are performed by all gymnasts in much the same manner. Scoring for compulsories and optionals is similar except that the gymnast must follow a prescribed sequence of skills in compulsories.
There are 11 levels to the USAG Women’s Junior Olympic Program. Levels 1 and 2 are non-competitive levels. The girls start with competing at Level 3 and go up to Level 10. Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6 are compulsory levels. Levels 8, 9, and 10 are optional levels. Level 7 is an optional level with certain compulsory skills required on each event. The Elite Level is for athletes beyond Level 10.
Wellman is a Level 6 gymnast in the 12 year old age group and this season she has received top four medals in all events plus All-Around. Her highest honors have been first place medals for Floor and Beam and a third place medal for All Around. Her highest scores this season were as follows: Floor (9.55), Beam (8.975), Bars (8.65), Vault (8.95) and AA (36.125).
McGuffey is also a Level 6 gymnast, but she is competing in the 10 year old division.
At the competition in Arnold, she improved her highest all-around score by .450, with a 36.450, and her highest floor (9.45) and vault (9.275) of the season. She is the strongest on beam and floor, which are her favorite events.
The girls Level 6 Team has won honors this season as well including 2nd place in Hershey, PA and 2nd Place in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Courtney Baranow is the girl’s coach and choreographed both of the girl’s beautiful routines. Baranow is also a teacher at Taylor County Middle School.
The girls will compete in the WV state meet in Huntington this coming weekend. The meet will begin on Friday, March 16 and will continue through Sunday, March 18. Good luck girls!