Ryan Dietzman and Trace Jacquot competed for their VEGA family for the last time in Clark County Saturday.
An opportunity to host the USAG Region 2 Championships motivated the two Level 10 gymnasts to reach the Junior Olympic Nationals May 5 to 10, in Daytona Beach, Fla. The meet brought more than 330 athletes from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska to the Clark County Event Center, in Ridgefield.
“We wanted to show everybody what VEGA is all about. We are a small gym in Camas, but we are not small on the competition floor,” Dietzman said. “This was my best meet of the year, and maybe one of my best meets ever. I did my 10 years justice.”
Dietzman clinched sixth place in the all-around competition with 75.35 points. The Camas High School senior earned a silver medal on the vault (13.3) and bronze medals on the floor (13.7) and the high bar (13.7). He also placed sixth on the parallel bars (12.6), 11th on rings (11.1) and 12th on pommel horse.
“I didn’t feel like I had a peak,” Dietzman said. “From rings to pommel, I felt great the whole time.”
Jacquot captured a gold medal on the high bar (13.25). After springing off the bar and catching it again on the other side, the Hockinson High School senior launched himself toward the rafters on his dismount before making a safe landing on the ground.
“I’ve been with VEGA since 2007, and it’s been a phenomenal experience,” Jacquot said. “I hate to see it come to an end, but all good things must come to an end.”
Jacquot notched ninth place all-around with 74.15 points. He took third place on the floor (13.7), sixth place on vault (13.1), 13th place on parallel bars (11.7), 13th place on pommel horse (11.5) and 14th place on rings (10.9).
“Gymnastics has shaped my life in more ways than I could imagine,” Jacquot said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my teammates and coaches. The support they have given me, I can never repay it.”
Jacquot has been accepted to the University of Hawaii. He is in Oahu this week trying out for the Rainbow Warriors cheerleading squad.
“Gymnastics has set my foundation for anything,” Jacquot said. “If I put all the hard work and dedication I have into this sport into something else, I know I will be successful.”
After graduating from CHS, Dietzman will compete on the Arizona State University men’s gymnastics team. He said this opportunity wouldn’t be possible without the gymnasts, dancers, cheerleaders, musicians and instructors who inspired him at VEGA.
“No matter where you go at that place, upstairs or downstairs, everybody knows who you are. It’s the most support you have gotten for your entire life,” Dietzman said. “They taught me all about self-motivation. There were several times when I wanted to quit, but I had so many people say, ‘You can do this. Don’t give up.'”
A few Level 6 VEGA gymnasts went out with a bang at the regional meet. Zachary Murray earned second place all-around in the 9- to 10-year-old division with 61.2 points. He gained a gold medal on the parallel bars (11.25), silver medals on the rings (10.65) and pommel horse (10.6), and a bronze medal on the vault (9.9). Evan Stice took eighth place all-around (57.8) and Ian Davis notched 19th place all-around (49.3).
Nathan Hayes (59.125), Nathaniel Davis (57.4) and Riley Gorsuch (56.7) finished in fourth, fifth and sixth place all-around at the Level 6 age 11 and up division. Gorsuch snagged a gold medal on the high bar (11.15) and a bronze medal on parallel bars (9.8). Hayes snatched a silver medal on floor (10.4) and a bronze on pommel horse (10.075). Davis notched a bronze on parallel bars (9.8).
A second-place finish on high bar (11.15) propelled Eli Huntington to 22nd place all-around (58.8) at the Level 5 9-10 division. Owen Huntington earned 18th place all-around (56.5) at the 11 and up division. Edison Twyman took 35th place all-around (55.95) at the 9-10 division.