Two groups of area girls do well in international acro gymnastic competition
Acro gymnastic teams from Ronda’s Dance, Tumble and Cheer Center continue to make an impact on the international gymnastics scene.
The trio of Chloe Wait, Brooke Mummaw and Brooke Handy, competing in the International Age Group Competition (IAGC), brought home a silver medal from the XII International H. Chmielewsi Tournament in Swidnica, Poland.
Teams from the United States, Germany, France, the Ukraine, the Netherlands, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland competed.
Allison Mock, Megan Muehlberger and Mia Media jumped two classes to compete in the Junior Women’s Group and made the finals.
“I’m so proud of both groups,” said their coach and United States judge, Ronda Francis. “For Brooke, Chloe and Brooke, this was their first international competition and they brought home a medal. They all agreed that was awesome.”
So awesome that it made one girl dance and one mom cry.
“When my mom found out we placed second, she was so happy that she cried,” said Handy, 9, whose father is former Blue Springs High School and University of Missouri record-breaking quarterback Jeff Handy. “My family came over to Poland to support our group and that made it special for me.”
When 14-year-old Wait found out the girls won a silver medal, she started to dance.
“You know, the happy feet dance,” Wait said. “You had to go to a wall and read the print outs to see where your team finished, and when I found out we brought home a silver medal I just started to dance. It was the greatest feeling in the world.”
Mummaw, 15, said she had to battle her nerves before the meet started.
“But once I started to compete with Brooke and Chloe, I felt pretty calm and really enjoyed the competition.”
All the girls said the thing they enjoyed most was watching how other world class teams trained.
“That was a lot of fun, and really interesting,” Wait said. “You can learn so much from watching the other teams. Since this was our first international meet, we wanted to see everything.”
This was the second trip to Poland for veterans Mock, Muehlberger and Medina.
“We were in Poland last year, when we won the gold medal in the IAGC competition,” Mock, 16, said. “This year, we competed against 14 teams, including the two top teams in the world – France and Ukraine.
“To show you how much stronger the competition was this year, last year we won gold. We jumped up two classes and we made the finals. I’m even more proud of that than I am winning that gold medal last year.”
Because this was their second trip to the XII International H. Chmielewsi Tournament, this trio knew what to expect.
“We competed in the same building,” Muehlberger, 13, said, “and stayed in the same place. The competition was very tough, but I thought we did pretty good. It shows us how much we have to work on.”
Medina, 13, added, “It’s always fun to watch the other teams and meet the girls from those teams.”
Last year, this trio visited the Grossrosen Concentration Camp, right outside of Swidnica, and it made a lasting impression on the girls.
“We all wanted to go back, but we just didn’t have time,” Mock said. “But when you see something like that – even though the buildings are gone – it makes you realize just how lucky you are.”
The trio of Muehlberger, Medina and Mock ran into some back luck when Muehlberger broke her ring finger in P.E. class playing flag football.
She is expected to be out of action about five to seven weeks.
To help defray costs for trips like this, Ronda’s sponsors a fireworks tent at 601 NE Adams Dairy Parkway in Blue Springs around the Fourth of July.
“We really appreciate any support we get from the community,” Francis said, “because trips like this are so special for the girls and they do such a great job representing Blue Springs and their country.