The coaches at KMC Gymnastics & Dance knew how good its boys team was, but even they were stunned at the results of the Pennsylvania State Championships when they walked away with just the second super team trophy in its history.
“I’m very proud of the boys,” said coach Victor Kolesnikov. “It’s the second time it’s happened.”
The team boasts 26 boys on the team with ages ranging from 6 to 18. The make up six different levels in the gymnastics world from levels 4 through 10 (no Level 7).
Since the boys teams began in 1993, the program has been strong and culminated in its first super team trophy in 2011 before accomplishing it again this year.
“Ever since (the team started), we usually come home from States with several of the team banners,” said Karen Myers, founder and owner of KMC Inc. “We get a lot of first place banners.”
And it was exactly what happened this time around as well as two of the teams, Level 6 and 8, returning home with first place wins.
In fact, Level 6 has continued to remain undefeated this season as Level 8 also continues an impressive run with just one loss.
“[Level 6] dominated every meet they went to, winning by six, seven or eight points,” Myers said. “Usually winning a team award in competition is by tenths, not whole points. They did really well.”
The Level 6 team is made up of boys, two aged 8 and 9 and the rest are 11.
Kyle Walchuk, 8, won first on four of the events while Kieran Clark won first in AA and on two events and Andrew Overman was third in AA and was first on two events as well.
Two members of the Level 8 team, Kieran Murdocca and Collin Cunane, both 12, are usually in the gym between 17 to 24 hours a week.
“It can get tough (with school) because it can take away practice time,” Cunane said. “Mostly, I can handle the time pretty well.”
In the competition, Cunane came home second and Murdocca finished third, but the team as a whole took first place.
“It was surprising to me because I had left there thinking that someone else was going to win (Super Team),” Cunane said. “We weren’t even in the Super Team when we were competing, but then I came in the next day and heard we were having a party for winning the Super Team.”
The coaches couldn’t be happier to see the team succeed as much as they have.
“We’ve been winning pretty much all year,” said coach Brian Narvaez. “I’m expecting big things from them this year, next year and the year after. I’m just happy and proud.”
When most people think of gymnastics, they usually visualize girls, but KMC has plenty of boys to go around.
“I love it,” Myers said. “I love having a boys program and seeing what it can do for the guys. We have a lot of them that go all the way through and graduate high school.”
Through all the hard work by every member of the team, each one qualified to advance for States.
Success in gymnastics can often times translate to the same in other sports, leading it to be a great activity for young athletes to get into.
“It’s a sport that can lead into being successful in any other sport,” Myers said.