Eight members of the Alexandria Area Gymnastics Club competed and brought home plenty of hardware at the Minnesota State Special Olympics Summer Games on June 18-19 at MinHops in Minnetonka.
Athletes from all around the state compete in rhythmic and artistic gymnastics in divisions based on skill level, age and gender. The event began with an opening ceremony, an athlete march-in, the National Anthem and the Special Olympics oath presented by an athlete from each team.
Once the competition began, the Alexandria athletes began to shine. Local team members brought home four gold medals in the rhythmic category. Nicole Vedral won the ball competition. Jessica Knutson won the rope event, while Sarah Abbott took home the ribbon competition and also won gold in the all-around. Abbott’s next competition will be at the National Games in Lincoln, Nebraska later this month.
The Alexandria Area club brought home four other gold medals in the artistic category. Crystal Krohnfeldt had a part in all of those golds as she won the vault and bars competitions with her unified partner Brooklyn Krohnfeldt. She then went on to tie for first with teammate Ilesha Mercer in the balance beam competition and in the all around.
The Alexandria team is coached by Karyn Sportel, Jill Jerdie, Deb Braud, Vickie Arnold and athlete as coach, Allyson Estes. The team is looking to add to its coaching staff for artistics for next season, which runs on Wednesday nights from January to June.
The Special Olympics golf program is also looking for volunteers for its area meet on July 22. Volunteers are needed to help with skill stations and scorekeeping on the course. Golfers and non-golfers are encouraged to volunteer. Those interested in volunteering or helping out in coaching should contact Sportel at (320) 852-7664.
Minnesota Special Olympics
ALEXANDRIA AREA RESULTS – RHYTHMIC – BALL – Nicole Vedral, gold; Sarah Abbott, bronze; Jessica Knutson, fourth place; Heidi Goodin, fifth place; ROPE – Knutson, gold; Abbott and Vedral, silver; Goodin, bronze; HOOP – Abbott, silver; RIBBON – Abbott, gold; ALL AROUND – Abbott, gold
ARTISTIC – VAULT – Crystal Krohnfeldt and unified partner Brooklyn Krohnfeldt, gold; Stephanie Braud, silver; Ilesha Mercer, bronze; UNEVEN PARALLEL BARS – Crystal Krohnfeldt and unified partner Brooklyn Krohnfeldt, gold; Mercer, bronze; BALANCE BEAM – Crystal Krohfeldt and unified partner Brooklyn Krohnfeldt/Mercer, gold; Braud, silver; FLOOR EXERCISE – Krohnfeldt and unified partner Brooklyn Krohnfeldt/Braud, silver; Mercer, bronze; ALL AROUND – Krohnfeldt and unified partner Brooklyn Krohnfeldt/Mercer, gold