Grabbing the gold

VEGA gains recognition for hard work in hosting a dynamic state meet

VEGA’s Trace Jacquot, of Hockinson, flings himself over the high bar and catches it on the other side during the Level 10 USAG Washington state men’s gymnastics meet Saturday, at the Clark County Event Center. He took third all-around.

Ryan Dietzman pumped up the jam on the high bar.

The 16-year-old Level 10 Camas gymnast delivered a perfect dismount and landing to earn a goal medal during the USAG Washington state men’s gymnastics championships Saturday evening, at the Clark County Event Center.

“It was such a clean and crisp routine,” Dietzman said. “It felt so good.”

He also earned second place on the vault, third place on the rings and fifth place in the all-around competition with 69.6 points.

Dietzman dedicated his medals to the athletes, coaches and volunteers of the Vancouver Elite Gymnastics Academy. He has been a part of VEGA since the organization moved to Camas in 2004.

“I’m very happy that it was my gym that hosted the meet,” Dietzman said. “The whole day just had a good vibe. We got to pick the venue and the music. I just felt good about the whole thing.”

Trace Jacquot, a 17-year-old VEGA gymnast from Hockinson, snagged gold medals on the floor and the vault. He also nailed a full turn over the high bar into an eagle grip for the first time during competition. He earned second on the high bar and third all-around with 72.6 points.

“It felt very relieving to be able to hit that skill and finish the rest of the routine clean,” Jacquot said. “I’m very proud to call VEGA my team. We’re going to train as hard as we can for the next few weeks and put it all out there at regionals. Hopefully, we both make it to nationals.”

Noah Delisle, a 17-year-old VEGA gymnast from Vancouver, competed in two upper body events at state with a torn ACL.

“Having a state meet at home is one of the best feelings ever,” Delisle said. “I wasn’t going to miss this.”

He captured a bronze medal on the pommel horse in his final event before having surgery Friday to repair his ACL.

“I would have been happy with anything,” Delisle said. “It feels great to be able to leave here with a medal in an event I pride myself on.”

Dietzman, Jacquot and Delisle pushed VEGA up to fourth place at the Level 10 state meet with 185.5 points. Black Hills won the 10-team competition with 236.9 points. The top three teams had four or five gymnasts, while VEGA only had three.

“You could tell the kids felt like they were at home,” said head coach and meet director Zdravko Stoianov. “They were confident and excited, but they never lost focus throughout the whole meet.”

Ian Davis became a state champion for VEGA on the vault at the Level 5 meet Saturday morning. He also finished fourth in the all-around competition with 52.9 points. He took third place on the floor and the high bar. Zachary Murray secured sixth all-around, Evan Stice notched 10th and Edison Twyman took 21st.

Nathaniel Davis notched seventh place in the all-around competition for VEGA at the Level 6 state meet Saturday afternoon. He earned third place on floor. Riley Gorsuch grabbed 13th place in the all-around with 53.1 points. He finished fourth on the high bar.

Eli Huntington took 12th place for VEGA in the Level 4 all-around meet for 7- and 8-year-olds Sunday. Blaine McBee earned 20th place. Owen Huntington snatched sixth place in the Level 4 all-around for 9- and 10-year-olds.

Dietzman, Jacquot and Delisle came back on Sunday to help the Level 4 meet run smoothly. Injured teammate Nick McAfee volunteered, along with parents and gymnasts from the CHS girls team.

“The most important thing was the execution of the meet. We got a lot of positive feedback, and the support to try and bid for regionals next year,” Stoianov said. “This all started methodically last August. We had to get volunteers, sponsorships, make brochures, build the sessions and get clubs to register. It was a lot of hard work, but rewarding in many ways. I personally want to thank all the people who made this weekend so successful for us.”

Eight VEGA gymnasts are on their way to the regional championships April 13 to 15, at Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Ore. Nationals are May 7 to 9, in Long Beach, Calif.