Mike Powers | News-Bulletin photo
18 competitors from Boardwalk Gymnastics won medals at the New Mexico State Gymnastics Championships.


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.

First-place winners

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

Second-place winners

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

Third-place winners

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

Fourth-place winners

Level 3: Blake Maestas, 11 years old

Level 3: Denae Vaisa, 12 years old

Level 3: Zoe Gatewood, 11 years old


Shadayn Kapalko

Lori Kapalko

Mia Willis

Vanessa Silva

Denise Ditmanson

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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.