Bainbridge gymnasts travel to national competition

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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Nine gymnasts from the Bainbridge Gymansticats traveled with Team Georgia to the 2023 AAU National Championship.


The competition is held in Orlando, FL, over four days. The gymnasts competed for the highest cumulative score in four events from Friday to Monday. Coach Melynda “Lindy” Murkenson said her girls earned their right to compete in Orlando.

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“Gymnasts have to earn everything they get. Nobody can give it to you,” Murkenson said. 


The squad typically competes as the Gymnasticats out of Murkensons Dance Academy and Cheer Gym. At nationals, they droped the Gymnasticats name and competed as part of Team Georgia with gymnasts from all over the state.


The team competed on the floor, balance beam, vault, and bars. Each gymnast gets scored out of 10 in the events, and their cumulative scores of up to 40 contribute to the state’s final score.


The team performed a flash mob dance before each day of the competition. Murkenson said the AAU didn’t give her much notice to teach her team the dance, but they got it down in a few days. 


“We learned about it last week, and we’ve already polished it up,” Murkenson said. “It’s looking good now.”


Each gymnast competes individually, but all their scores count for the Georgia State team score. Murkenson said her strongest gymnasts are a pair of sisters, Bansi and Dhara Patel, and Mia Rosario. 


“[Bansi and Dhara] are a cut above,” Murkenson said. “ [Mia] is dy-na-mite. She’s perfection in motion.”