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Thrive Gymnastics sends four local gymnasts to regional championships 

Thrive Gymnastics sends four local gymnasts to regional championships

Left to right: Erika Matthews, Kiana McCrea, Sachiko Zemke, and Lillian Kascha-Hare.

–Four local gymnasts from Atascadero and Paso Robles made their mark this season by securing a spot at Region 1 Championships (California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah). Team Aviatrix Athletes: Erika Matthews, Kiana McCrea, Sachiko Zemke, and Lillian Kascha-Hare all achieved qualifying scores to attend one of the strongest regional championships in the country. The competition is being held April 17-20 in Chandler, Arizona.

“I am very proud of what our athletes and coaches are accomplishing in our competitive program,” says Raleigh Carter, co-owner of Thrive Training Center and head coach of Team Aviatrix. “These girls compete with some of the best gymnasts in the country, so they understand what it takes to earn a place on the podium. Our gymnasts have the right attitude and the right work ethic to achieve their goals if not exceed them.”

These gymnasts train year-round 16 hours a week and compete in 4-6 competitions a season. Athletes are trying to achieve a top score of 40 All-Around (AA) which would require a perfect score of 10 on each of the events: vault, uneven bars, beam, and floor.

Erika Matthews (17) is known for her “artistry on the beam,” high-level skills, determination, and passion to compete. Her dedication to the sport has earned her many awards. With Matthews achieving skills of a level 9 gymnast, which is one of the hardest levels in gymnastics, she achieved a top score on vault with a 9.250 and qualified for regional championships with a 34.50 AA.

“Gymnastics has given me a place to conquer my goals,” says Matthews. “It teaches me to be tough, work hard, and stay focused. The skills I have learned with this sport will carry me through life. What I enjoy most about gymnastics is the thrill of competing, how the body works, the coaching, and the life- long friendships I have made.”

Kiana McCrea (17) is known for her powerhouse performances and her “never give up” attitude. With countless hours of conditioning and learning new skills, she has earned many awards and achieved the skills of a level 8 gymnast. McCrea achieved a top score on floor with a 9.125 and qualified for regionals with a 34.00 AA.

“Gymnastics has taught me to never give up on a goal and that hard work truly pays off,” says McCrea. “What I enjoy most about gymnastics is the training and the life-long friendships she has made.”

Sachiko Zemke (14) is an amazing level 7 athlete. She is known for her artistry in dance, and her never-give-up, positive attitude. Zemke has also earned many awards and achieved a top score on bars with a 9.375 and qualified for regional championships with a 35.275 AA.

“Gymnastics has taught me never to give up and to work through tough pressures,” says Zemke. “What I enjoy most about gymnastics is the coaching, the training and friendships.”

Lillian Kascha-Hare (13) is known for her ability to try new skills. She has mastered many skills at a young age and has earned many awards as a level 7 gymnast, truly something to be proud of. Kascha-Hare achieved a top score on bars with a 9.175 and qualified for regionals with a 35.475.

“Gymnastics has taught it is important not to give up when times get hard,” says Kascha-Hare. “It has taught me to believe in myself. If I think I can, I can. What I enjoy most about gymnastics is the training and the life-long friendships I have made.”

About the coaches

The team program director, Raleigh Carter, has 20+ years coaching experience. Cooper Bishop has over 15 years of experience as a competitive gymnast and as a coach. Janelle Setina choreographs all routines and has earned many titles in the discipline of Acro while being a USA national team member.

For more information on training for athletes, contact Thrive Training Center, located at 8981 La Linia Avenue Suite A, Atascadero, at (805) 466-1483 or visit thrivetrainingcenter.com.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.