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Bellingham Girl Participates in Y's National Gymnastics Championship

Aug 29, 2014 10:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Bellingham gymnast Caitlin Nolan is shown above (front row, second from left) with her teammates.

contributed to The Bellingham Bulletin

The YMCA National Gymnastics Championship took place in July at the Tampa Convention Center with gymnasts from the Hockomock Area YMCA taking top spots in several categories. Thirteen athletes from seven area towns, Bellingham’s Caitlin Nolan included, were able to make the trip, representing USA Gymnastics Levels 4 through 9. “They did a great job exemplifying the spirit of our Y,” said Coach Krissy Carrier. “Their support for fellow teammates was amazing.”

Carrier has coached at the Y’s North Attleboro branch for seven years and says it’s been rewarding to watch the team bond. There are 55 girls on the team, ages 5–18. Since October, 2013, they’ve competed in 17 Y-USA and USA Gymnastics competitions. Carrier says she aims to motivate the girls to do well in competition while making it a goal to develop well-rounded athletes and future leaders. As envisioned, the older teammates look out for the younger ones, and currently five enjoy teaching Gymnastics at the Y. Many gymnasts play other sports throughout the year, and all the girls participate in fundraising to help families in need in the community, who might not otherwise have the opportunity for a Y experience, through the annual Reach Out for Youth and Families Campaign.

The girls’ strong performance in Tampa resulted in 11 top-ten placements. The team also announces honors taken by Samantha Dalton (Level 9) of Wrentham and Kayla Schuberth (Level 5) of North Attleboro. The two earned top spots at the YMCA Northeast Regional Championships held this spring in Glastonbury, CT.

The national competition hosted approximately 2,000 gymnasts in two days of competition culminating in a finals competition on the third day. Representing the Hockomock Area YMCA: Level 9—Lacey Whitaker and Samantha Dalton; Level 8—Alanis Tirabassi, Megan Lipponen, Paige Moore and Mimi Gray. Megan Lipponen came in 9th in the country overall and placed 3rd on vault, 2nd on bars, 2nd on beam and 4th on floor. Mimi Gray placed first on vault; Level 7—Caitlin Nolan; Level 6—Sarah Thomas and Jennifer Laporte. Jenn placed 6th on bars and 8th on beam; Level 5—Lindsay Howlett; Level 4—Sandy Whitaker, Jennifer Thoener, and Caroline Szajda. Caroline placed 2nd on floor and 5th on bars. Sandy placed 3rd on bars and 8th on beam.  The team placed 11th as a team out of 27 teams.

The team extends congratulations and best wishes to graduating seniors Lacey Whitaker, Alanis Terabassi, and Sara Thomas. “They will be missed greatly,” says Carrier. She proudly shares that they all will pursue college athletics, including gymnastics at Rhode Island College for Lacey. Alanis will play field hockey for Salem State University, and Sara has plans of starting a gymnastics club at her future home of Westfield State University. 

To learn more about the Hockomock Area YMCA gymnastics programs, contact Krissy Carrier at 508-643-5261 or [email protected].

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