Boardwalk Gymnastics, in Belen, excelled at the New Mexico State Gymnastics Championships at Sandia Prep in Albuquerque last month, with 18 competitors capturing medals.
Four of those athletes are state champions — Heidi Hartman and Blake Miranda in Level 2; and Bentley Maestas and Charlee Gabaldon in Level 3.
In addition, in the overall team competition Boardwalk Gymnastics finished third in Level 2 and fourth in Level 3.
“We have a lot of talent here. Having four state champions was pretty cool,” said Lori Kapalko, coach and co-owner of Boardwalk Gymnastics.
Most of the competitive gymnasts are from Belen and Los Lunas, ranging in ages from 5 to 13 years old. Co-owner Shadayn Kapalko, Lori’s son, said the state competition included four events — balance beam, floor exercise, vault and uneven bars. The scores from each event are added together to get the final results.
Competitive gymnasts spend about eight hours each week training. Boardwalk Gymnastics, which opened in 1996, also offers recreational gymnastics, as well as cheer and dance classes.
Level 2: Heidi Hartman, 11 years old
Level 2: Blake Miranda, 5 years old
Level 3: Bentley Maestas, 7 years old
Level 3: Charlee Gabaldon, 7 years old
Level 6: Kennedy Johnston, 11 years old
Level 5: Milania Pino, 12 years old
Level 4: Jaylin Ramirez, 13 years old
Level 4: Sophia Myers, 9 years old
Level 3: Karizma Chaparro, 12 years old
Level 2: Jennasee Schmidt-Traxler, 9 years old
Level 2: Baylee Haskew, 8 years old
Level 5: Andilynn Rushing, 9 years old
Level 3: Brook Chavez, 8 years old
Level 3: Nevaeh Kristine Gabaldon, 12 years old
Level 3: Brooke Alguire, 11 years old
Level 3: Blake Maestas, 11 years old
Level 3: Denae Vaisa, 12 years old
Level 3: Zoe Gatewood, 11 years old
Mike Powers spent more than 40 years as a television news and sports anchor, mostly in the Albuquerque market. He has won numerous awards including New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year. He covers a wide range of sports, including the Valencia County prep scene.