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by John Cardullo, sportswriter
Last week when we covered the Miller Gymnastic team, they stormed into the Rhode Island College’s Recreation Center and swept through the State Championship with the team taking either the gold, silver or bronze. As it turned out what happened at the State competition was a small preview to what was going to happen next at the Regionals.
On Saturday May 13th it was a total reverse of the day the State meet took place. Sunny and warm temperatures were seasonal when the Recreational Center on the campus of Rhode Island College once again became the venue as the competitors of Miller Gymnastics were prepared to rise to the occasion of being on a “bigger” stage as they pursued the National Gymnastics Association title.
The team, led by overall State Champion Kyla Cook and her teammates Cinzia Mersey, Frankie Finelli, Payton McParlin, Kaylianna Giraldo and Morgan Laroache who won their share of medals in the Rhode Island team State Championship took control of the regional meet from the beginning.
Cook won the gold medal in the balance beam, floor, and vault, with Finelli winning the gold on the bars, and Laroache scored high on each routine to medal as well. When the dust settled, Frankie Finelli won the gold medal in the individual competition with Morgan Laroche locking down the silver medal and Kyla Cook taking home the bronze medal. To say the competition among the top three athletes would be tight would be an understatement, the margin from first place to third was merely10ths of a point in each placement.
All three gymnasts’ qualified to represent Rhode Island and Miller Gymnastics in the National Championships that will be held in New Orleans in June. Coach Tom Miller was beaming at the result. “We need to catch our breath and see if a trip to the Nationals can be made. Given that we would have to see who can go, plan the trip, then raise the funds to travel to New Orleans in a matter of a couple of weeks is going to be a huge project! We haven’t even had time to take this all in yet.”
As it turns out the team will be heading down to New Orleans, the Big Easy, to represent Rhode Island in the National competition. “These young ladies have worked hard and have risen to the occasion; this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and they deserve to go and measure themselves against the best in the country. I cannot be any happier and prouder of all these girls!”
There are several fundraisers being planned, a calendar raffle which will award a prize a day for an entire month. If you would like to make a donation to the team – you can log onto https://millers-gymnastics-nga-national-competition.cheddarup.com/
John Cardullo, sportswriter