Three Uzelac-trained gymnasts will be representing Pennsylvania in USA Gymnastics Region Seven competitions this month against Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Nicole Coukart of Portage qualified at the Level 10 PA State Championship to attend a regional meet April 20 in Lincroft, N.J. Coukart successfully has competed at state, regional and national levels in the past.
At Level 9 Katie Baldwin Invitational, Coukart scored the third highest in the country on floor exercises with a 9.775 of 10. She is a high honor roll eighth grade student at the Portage Junior High School. She sings in chorus, plays saxophone, attends yoga classes and enjoys baking and time with her friends. Coukart is the daughter of Tom and Michele Coukart and has two brothers, Zachary and Anthony.
Sumer Rininger of Stoystown recently competed in the Level 9 PA State Championship in Williamsport. On April 13, Rininger represented the state at a regional meet at Ursinus College. Both Rininger and Coukart scored over 34.00 all-around to achieve their honors.
Rininger, a ninth grader at North Star High School, is an honor roll student. She also is enrolled in honors college prep courses. She is freshman class secretary and a student council member. She volunteers for Somerset County Mobile Food Bank and attends Kantner United Methodist Church and youth group. Rininger is the daughter of Mark and Robin Rininger of Stoystown.
Amy Stewart of Johnstown is a Level 8 gymnast who scored 37.5 at the Level Eight PA State Championship to compete in a regional meet in Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Maryland the last weekend in April. She is the Level 8 state champion for uneven bars and balance beam. Although this is Stewart’s first regional meet, she represented Pennsylvania at the Level 7 Qualifier National Judges’ Cup in Daytona, Fla., this year. She came in fifth all-around. She is homeschooled by her parents, Dr. James and Ellen Stewart, and has ten brothers and sisters.
The girls practice more than 24 hours a week under coaching from Brenda Uzelac, Kristal (Uzelac) Bodenschatz and Marcus Gaunt.