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Madison Area YMCA
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For Immediate Release
The Madison Area YMCA Rosettes Gymnastics Team Competed at Nationals in California, Making Coach Proud as She Battled Cancer at Home
(Madison, NJ) July 7, 2016 – Madison Area YMCA Gymnastics Director Ellen Gavin welcomed the Rosettes home from the YMCA National Gymnastics Championships held June 29-July 3 in Long Beach, CA, and celebrated her gymnasts’ achievements and spirit when they arrived in New Jersey, as she was unable to attend due to her recent cancer diagnosis.
It was the first time that Coach Ellen, who has led the Rosettes for almost 20 years, was not with her team at Nationals; although, she spoke with the girls before and after each competition via FaceTime and gymnasts’ parents continuously updated her throughout the meet.
“Not being at Nationals was tough,” said Coach Ellen who began her treatment as the girls had prepared to leave for the competition. “It was an extremely rough year with lots of ups and downs and not always being in the gym with the girls. They really pulled together as a team. I couldn’t be prouder of them and the coaching staff.”
The team’s Level 8 gymnasts placed second. Finalists included: Grace McCormick, 14, from Madison; Maria Ramos, 18, from Florham Park and Jessica Sterkel, 17, from Madison. The team’s Level 9 gymnasts placed fifth. Finalists included: Julia Chinni, 16, from Madison; Kristin Fowler, 18, from Madison and Kaitlin Maroney, 18, from Chatham. Every high school senior on the team made finals. Gymnasts from Levels 3 to 7 did an excellent job as well, earning individual medals.
Approximately 2,000 gymnasts and 200 coaches from 100 YMCAs across the country participated at Nationals.
Associate Gymnastics Director Christina Lopez said that the 62 gymnasts between the ages of 7 and 18, the largest team ever sent by the Madison Area YMCA to Nationals, had fun competing and cheered for every team on the floor, as is typical of the Rosettes.
“Our girls’ respect and support for one another and the other teams at the competition are a testament to what the Madison Area YMCA gymnastics program is all about. The Rosettes are known for their encouragement, spirit and sportsmanship at Nationals. They rose up for Ellen,” she said, adding, “The girls wore pink camouflage bows with Ellen’s initials in their hair and pink camouflage ribbons on their shorts throughout the meet. Pink is her favorite color and the camouflage pattern represented the Rosettes’ army of support behind her.”
Ms. Lopez noted the support of the outstanding coaching squad that accompanied her to Nationals which included “Professor” Vladimir Peleksic, Meredith Valentine and Cassandra Baumgartner.
For 16 years, the Madison Area YMCA Rosettes gymnastics team has ranked in the top 10 YMCA gymnastics teams in the country. The Rosette’s demonstration of skill, poise, spirit, teamwork and sportsmanship continues to be what sets the Madison Area YMCA gymnastics program apart from other programs in the area. The team practices team unity and determination and highly regards the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Building character, confidence and self-esteem are part of the rich gymnastics experience at the Madison Area YMCA.
Interested in Gymnastics at the Y? Four-day summer clinics for 3 to 5 year olds, 6 to 9 year olds and Double Digits for 10-15 year olds run each week Monday through Thursday. Two-day summer clinics for 3 to 5 year olds, 6 to 9 year olds and Double Digits for 10-15 year olds run each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Spots are available in all age groups for sessions that run now through the week of August 15. Sessions are 10:30-12:30 p.m.
The Madison Area YMCA is a cause-driven charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Generous donations make it possible for everyone in the community to be enriched by the Y, regardless of ability to pay, to develop a healthy spirit, mind and body at any age.
For more information about the Rosettes and the Y’s Gymnastics class offerings, visit www.madisonareaymca.org. Non-competitive classes include Parent/Child, toddler, preschool, elementary school and beyond.