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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 7, 2010

2 gymnasts earn national medals

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To submit team or individual achievements of local athletes, e-mail: cmurayama@honoluluadvertiser.com

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Two female gymnasts from O'ahu received medals at the Level 9 Western National Championships held April 30 to May 2 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tracie Villanueva, a 14-year-old freshman from Moanalua High School and a member of the Hawaiian Island Twisters Gymnastics Team, tied for second place on the beam in the Junior 7 division. She tied for 17th on the vault, 21st on the bars, 20th on the floor, and 17th on all-around.

Taryn Chun, a senior at Mililani High School and a member of the Island Tumblers Gymnastics Team, tied for fourth on the vault in the Senior 8 Division. She also took 19th on the bars, 10th on the beam, tied for 15th on the floor and 17th on all-around.

Others from Hawai'i who competed were Nicole Aviles, a Maryknoll freshman who competed despite suffering food poisoning and had to be taken to emergency, and Lauren Lauro, an 11-year-old student at Le Jardin Academy.

Aviles tied for 12th on the bars, finished 15th on the floor and 19th in the all-around in the Junior 8 Division. Lauro took 23rd place in all-around in the Junior 1 Division.

The Level 9 Championships featured the best 400 gymnasts in the western United States at this level. The competition featured 16 age divisions with medals being awarded to the top six scorers in each event for each age division. The gymnasts qualified for this event by finishing among the top six gymnasts in the all-around in their age division during their respective regional championship held in early April.