By Tamas Mondovics

As expected, the 2016 competitive season has started off on a high note for the talented young gymnasts at Tampa Bay Rhythmics and Dance.

Owner and Head Coach Tyana Marlowe was proud to take five strong gymnasts to measure up their skills against opponents from across the country, as well as Canada, during the Matchpoint Invitational held in Brooklyn, New York, late January 2016.

“We are off to an excellent start of the 2016 season,” Marlowe said.

Marlowe’s team included Level 9 Junior Division gymnasts Stephanie Kanelous and Julie Cheng, as well as Level 9 Senior Division gymnasts Kristen Ng and Linda Dillon.

The team’s fifth talent was Pamela Tang who rightfully claims her spot as a Level 10 Senior Division gymnast.

Holding her own, Cheng managed to place eighth in her division in Ball.

Level 9 senior gymnasts Kristen Ng placed first, while Linda Dillon placed second All Around.

Competing against eight current Senior National Team Members in her division, Tang placed tenth All Around.

Success continued for Tampa Bay Rhythmics as the gym’s Levels 3-8 gymnasts also had a chance to see their first competition of the season by attending the Georgia/Texas Rhythmic Championship, also known as The 2016 Paws for Cause Rhythmic Invitational.

The event was held last month at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

“The girls did great, with all of our gymnasts receiving medals, many of them taking first place all around,” said Tampa Bay Rhythmics Spokesperson Donna Kaye.

Kaye emphasized that success is due to dedication and commitment.

“The girls continually make social sacrifices as they spend long hours in the gym, 20 to 25 hours a week, training with strong expert coaching,” she said.

Adding to the benefits and reasons why one should pursue the sport, Kaye mentioned health and fitness in a unique, fun way.

“This is a very disciplined sport and like any elite athlete, requires good time management to be successful, which flows into general life management skills making a better person in the end,” she said.

Tampa Bay Rhythmics, located at 6542 Krycul Ave. in Riverview, is training its gymnasts hard to qualify for the Junior Olympics and Elite Nationals. New this season for the gym is four gymnasts who have qualified for the Junior Olympics competing as a group. The gym also has five girls who have a chance to qualify for the Elite Nationals in Rhode Island later this summer. 

For more information about the rhythmic gymnastics program, or to schedule a free trial class, call 741-2827 or visit www.tampabayrhythmics.com.