East Tennessee gymnasts finish strong at meets

Holly Viers • Updated Jul 5, 2018 at 1:20 PM

KINGSPORT — Several local gymnasts have solidified themselves as top contenders on the state and regional levels.

Dozens of athletes from East Tennessee Cheer and Gymnastics in Kingsport finished strong at recent state and regional meets, and some are still ranked among the top gymnasts in the nation.

Excelling at state

Angie Taylor, who co-owns ETCG with her husband, Danny, said the gym had nine top all-around finishers at the Tennessee State Championship, which was held in March.

Of 625 athletes who competed at the meet, ETCG gymnast Nevaeh Michael had the highest score among all ages and skill levels, Taylor said.

The road to regionals

A number of ETCG athletes, including several who made the Tennessee state teams, were invited to compete at the Region 8 XCEL Championships held in April.

The state teams were comprised of the top six athletes in the state, plus an alternate, based on the results of the Tennessee State Championships. Top athletes from several states across the South competed in the meet.

The following girls from ETCG qualified for the state teams at their respective levels.

• Platinum: Tianna Meade, Kaylee Vaughn and alternate Madison Cox

• Gold: Emily Mattison, Nevaeh Michael, Brylee Pennington and alternate Nevan Smelser

• Silver: Ella Hyder and alternate Lexi Boone

• Bronze: Willow Britton and alternate Isa Dau

Finishing strong

Along with those who made the state teams, Taylor said 30 ETCG athletes competed as individuals at regionals, and several finished in the top three.

ETCG also competed with its own teams at regionals. The ETCG Platinum team won first place, while the ETCG Gold team took third.

On the individual level, Taylor said ETCG gymnast Chloe Napier still ranks first in the nation on beam, with a perfect 10.0 score. Emily Mattison, also of ETCG, follows close behind in second place.

Moving forward

Taylor and her husband, who coached the girls alongside Brad Taylor, Katie Fader, Laura Crain and Kayla Calhoun, said ETCG’s teams and gym are expanding.

More than 50 athletes competed last season, and a new gym location was recently opened in Johnson City, with a grand opening ceremony scheduled for late August.

For more information, visit www.etcheerandgymnastics.com.