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Local Gymnast Places In Silver At Nationals

By Staff | Aug 10, 2010

Marissa Gregoire poses with her medals and plaque from the USAIGC National Championship.

HUGHESVILLE It isn’t surprising that Marissa Gregoire is a gymnast. At age 12, she’s small and wispy, but once she gets started on the subject of gymnastics, she turns into an articulate and mature young adult.

Marissa Gregoire is the daughter of Raymond Jr. and Jemma Gregoire, and they live in Hughesville. She has been interested in gymnastics since the 2004 Summer Olympics held in Greece. After some research, Gregoire joined Dynamats in Williamsport for a year until she switched to a gym in Bloomsburg before settling down this March at Endless Mountains Gymnastics in Wyalusing, a part of the United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs (USAIGC). The USAIGC offers a less time-consuming but still excellent program for gymnasts. It focuses on developing long term skills and teaching the gymnasts to compete without burning them out before college.

This June, Endless Mountains Gymnastics took a team to the USAIGC National Championship (though international would be a better term, with teams coming from Canada and Bermuda) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This was Gregoire’s first time, though she’s already stoked for next year.

And she should be, after such a strong showing. Gregoire placed in finals for four of five events-all around (all events combined), vault, floor and beam. She competed in the bronze level for most of these and received fifth place in the all around, tenth on the beam and third on the floor. She competed in the silver category for vault and placed tenth.

“Vault is my best event and that’s my favorite,” she said, calling it her most consistent. With competitions starting in December, Gregoire is ready to kick it up a notch and hopes to compete in silver for more events. “We’re very proud of her,” said her mother, Jemma Gregoire. “She doesn’t try to take the easy way out.”

She trains at the Endless Mountains Gym four days a week for three to four hours, doing everything from practicing routines to conditioning. Right now, she’s focusing on a new move for the vault called a Yurchenko. It involves running down the runway, performing a round off onto a spring board and doing a back hand spring onto the vault table. She finishes off with a backflip and lands on her feet.

As dangerous as it sounds, Gregoire has only suffered from one major injury involving a fractured growth plate on her elbow. But this didn’t stop her from training, as she continued to perform certain moves using only one hand.

While Gregoire is unsure what her goal for the future is, she’s got time. She’s just enjoying herself and her sport. Right now, it’s about sticking the next move.