In Franklin, gymnasts prepare for season


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  • Westys gymnast Samie Copley begins a drill. Copley, 11, earned two regional championship titles earlier this year.



By George Leroy Hunter

Westys Gymnastics hosted its Sixth Annual Skills Clinic on Aug. 11-12. Gymnasts from elementary school age to high school age attended to improve their skills at the Franklin facility.

Athletes from the Tri-State area trained together and were coached by instructors and judges. Westys founder and former gymnast Danielle Oehrlich kept a watchful eye on everything and occasionally stepped in to work with the athletes.

Several regional champions were in attendance. Westys gymnast Samie Copley, 11, of Vernon, earned two regional championship titles earlier this year. Copley's teammate, Lexi Ingoglia, 9, of Lake Hopatcong, earned the top title of 9-year-old Bronze Level All Around Regional Champion recently.

Polishing routines and improving conditioning for the upcoming competition season is a priority.

Olympic grade apparatus such as the trampoline, uneven bars and the balance beam were utilized, floor routines were practiced to perfection.

Gymnasts practiced for several hours each day. They were put through the paces in rotating drills. Each drill focused on a specific skill exercise such as tumbling, cartwheels, turns, dismounts and kips.

Oehrlich said, “Our camp is for gymnasts in the Tri-State area. We train the athletes to prepare them for a successful season. We have regional, state and national champions training here. They have a high level of coaching available to them during camp. The gymnasts who attend also get a chance to get to know each other. We group them by age and ability and have them involved in designed skills routines.”

The Westys Gymnastics team will be competing locally and traveling to other parts of the country during competition season. The team has a roster of talented athletes but is always on the lookout for new gymnasts.

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