Lahaina girls win medals at rhythmic gymnastics competition
LAHAINA – Three Lahaina girls – Elizabeth Bortz, age 9; Lacie Leon, 12; and Noelani Ligienza, 10 – recently traveled to Portland, Oregon, along with Coach Sue Martin and Ballet Instructor Suzi Bortz to compete in the USAG Regional Championships for Rhythmic Gymnastics.
All three girls managed to podium in their respective levels in the all-around competition. There were 132 competitors in all, in levels 4-10, from 12 different clubs. Hawaii is incorporated into Region 2 along with Colorado and Washington.
Competitors qualify for regionals through their state championships. The Hawaii State Championships were held Feb. 24.
Bortz, the newest member to the team, competed in Level 4 in the Child C Age Division. She scored 7.3 on the floor, clinching her fourth place; 6.3 on the rope for sixth place; and 8.2 on the hoop for third place, with an all- around score of 21.8. This earned her third place from a field of ten gymnasts.
In the Level 5, Junior A Division with 12 competitors, Leon scored 8.4 on the floor (third), 8.2 on the hoop (second), 7.0 with ball (fifth), and 6.95 for clubs (seventh). Her all-around score of 30.55 earned her second place.
Ligienza scored an impressive 9.2 on floor (second), 6.15 on hoop (tenth), 7.85 on ball (second), and 7.1 on clubs (fifth). Her score of 30.3 clinched third place.
Rhythmic gymnastics was introduced into the Kid Zone Maui curriculum 18 months ago. There are recreational and competitive level programs offered with many opportunities for girls to enjoy the sport.
The competitive team consists of ten members with five additional pre-team members and eight recreational girls.
Popularity has grown since the coaches first introduced the sport into the center. The key is to offer options to suit the individual.
Kid Zone has members in two organizations: the USAG, which is just US-based, as well as the international USAIGC.
Nine girls will compete at a regional competition in New Jersey on Saturday, June 17. The focus is now to prepare these girls for their big event on the East Coast. Coaches Martin, Bortz and Bogie Todorova will accompany the girls.