Carroll County Times

Taking it to the Next Level

This past weekend, 8 members of the Skyview Acro Gymnastic Team of Mount Airy, Maryland went to train and compete at Karoli's Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, home of the USA Olympic Training Site. There, the teams competed for the two valued positions on the National USA Acrobatic Gymnastic Team or to be selected for International Team. The athletes competed hard and even came home with some medals.

Acrobatic Gymnastics is a complex sport of teamwork, strength, and flexibility. Groups compete in pairs or trios and perform routines that resemble those acts you see at Cirque du Soleil. Young mixed pair Riley Freed and Sean Butehorn competed hard and fell just shy of the required total score of 52 to compete international, but it earned them a Gold medal. Trio, Abigail Kahn, Callie Davis and Kate Miller also did extremely well and finished just .4 points shy of the opportunity to compete with the International team, but received a Bronze third place medal. Trio, Lindsay Maier, Helena Hall, and Sydney Vander Linden made it to finals and earned a score of 52.95 and will be representing the USA in International Competition. This trio is a veteran to International travel. Their trio has already competed in Germany and Belgium. This sport requires a combination of dance and acrobatics with gymnastic skills demonstrating unbelievable ability to be flexible while at the same time being able to fly through the air into arms of your trusted teammates.

This complex sport requires hard work and dedication. Many of the athletes, including these, hold Honor Roll status at their school and practice from the time school lets out until 8pm, four nights a week plus most of Saturday. Their season is long and runs from August to most of July, ending with competing in Nationals. Their coach, LeeAnn Lenhart, a native of Johnnnesburg, South Africa grew up competing in this sport which is more widely recognized in other parts of the world then it is in America. She dedicates her life to making sure these athletes are fit and safe. Diane Floyd, Owner of Skyview Gymnastics, provides a safe clean training facility to help the athletes get to World Status and has been an inaugural part of assisting many athletes to compete on Team USA. Skyviews' Acro Team currently has 24 members on its competitive team and several more ready to be a part on the Training Team.

The entire team has competed well this season to earn them all a spot to compete at the State level Competition this upcoming weekend in Rockville, Maryland.