Senior takes Bronze at state games
Hurley spends nine hours training each week
SPARTA — Jennifer Packard and John Skorski opened their 2nd Giant Gymnastics location, having one in Hackettstown and one in Sparta, just three years ago.
Three years later, their first graduating high school senior was not only recognized at New Jersey’s United States Association of Independent Gymnastic Clubs (USAIGC) States competition, but came home with accolades for her performance.
Kelly Hurley has been a gymnast since the age of three. Then Schutz Gymnastics, and coached by former owner Bob Schutz, Hurley has gone from a toddler in recreational classes to a dedicated part-time coach and Silver level gymnast.
Hurley teaches at Giant level one recreational classes and assists with the younger “leaping lizards” and “flipping frogs” classes.
As a member of Giant’s Garden Gator USAIGC team, Hurley spends nine hours a week in the gym training for competition.
“Kelly has been a unique gymnast to work with,” said Skorski. “She has grown so much since we first met her. And personally, I am so proud to see her finish her last season on such a high note.”
The result of the hard work was evident all season, and at the state championship competition in Wildwood this month, Hurley placed second on the uneven Bars, fourth on the vault and balance beam and fifth on the floor exercise, which earned her a Bronze medal as the third All Around Silver Champion with a 34.4 score.
Alongside teammate Hurley, several other Gators came home having achieved awards.
Meagan Ward, of Fredon, a nine-year-old Copper level gymnast, placed third on vault and uneven bars and seventh-place All Around with a 35.65.
Fellow Copper gymnast Reese Abrams, of Sparta, 11, placed fourth on uneven bars.
For the Bronze level team, Caroline Dietz, of Lafayette, placed fourth on vault for the 10-year-old group with a 9.1. Dara DePaolo, of Wantage, a Silver level team member, placed third on uneven bars and 9th All Around.
With the success of the 2014 season behind them, the Garden Gators of Sparta already are looking forward towards next year’s season, continuing to train six to nine hours a week, working on new skills and improving skills they already have including strength and flexibility training to keep them strong and healthy.
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