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Flushing YMCA gymnast wins national crown

This was the first time the Bandits had not entered the competition as team in 13 years.

“It is great to go to a national championship in a rebuilding year and still walk away with this outstanding accomplishment from Liz,” said Coach Damon Albert. “It gives our younger athletes something to be proud about and shoot for in the future.”

The athletes endured three days of grueling competition. Each routine they performed was counted toward the final tally. Kotler was in first place after the first day with 37.85 points, followed by Tylee Small of Tacoma, Wash. with 37.55 points. The second day was the end of the all-around competition. Kotler finished with 37.90 points, enough to win the gold.

The third day focused on individual events. In the vault event, Kotler performed a Yurchenko with a full twist in the pre-flight and a pike 1 1/2 twist salto. Her score of 9.5 was good enough for silver medal. On the balance beam, Kotler rebounded to land her second gold of the competition. Her routine included a double turn, a full wolfjump and scissor leap back pike.

“I was very happy to win the Y nationals this year,” Kotler said. “I am looking forward to bringing the team with me next year to try and win the team competition.”

The Flushing Bandits were national champs in 1999. The team’s facility is housed at the Flushing Armory on Northern Boulevard. If you would like more information or would like to support this program, please contact Albert at 539-5223.

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