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Young island gymnast advances to state level
"Ariel Carroll of Maxwelton competed in the State Gymnastics Championships.Ten-year-old Ariel Carroll of South Whidbey spent Saturday in Bellevue competing in the State Gymnastics Championships at Sammamish High School in Bellevue.Carroll, a resident of Maxwelton and student at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School, placed fourth in the Northwest Washington USA Gymnastics sectional meet March 10 in Bellingham. That finish earned her a spot in the state event.Last year was Carroll's first in competitive gymnastics. She competed at Level 4 and her team at Leading Edge Academy in Everett won the state championship. This year she competed at Level 5. Gymnastics competition begins at Level 4 and continues through Level 10 or Elite.Gymnasts compete in the uneven bars, vault, balance beam and floor routine. Carroll attained her personal best at sectionals with an all around score of 34 out of 40 which included her first 9.0 for her floor routine.Carroll began her gymnastics lessons at age five through Island Gymnastics with Betty Rogers. She has also performed as the dancing bear in the 1999 Whidbey Island Dance Theatre's Nutcracker. In the 2000 Nutcracker she was the tumbling gnome. She attends Mrs. Mobley's fourth grade class at the Waldorf School.Anyone interested in gymnastics is welcome to inquire at the Leading Edge Gymnastics Academy, which offers transportation to and from the ferry. About eight island children presently participate. Call 425-259-2012. "