Young gymnasts excel at world competition

Milford. The four competitors put in from 10 to 20 hours every week at Pike Gymnastics Academy — while also managing to keep up with their schoolwork and other activities.

Aug 08 2019 | 02:58 PM

Four local gymnasts realized a dream when they joined the World Gymnastics Competition held in July by the USAIGC (United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs) in Nashville, Tennessee.

The foursome competed against hundreds of girls, including entrants from Great Britain, Germany, South Africa, and Bermuda. They all train Pike Gymnastics Academy and attend Delaware Valley schools.

Samantha (“Sammie”) Prisco

Samantha (“Sammie”) Prisco, 11, will be starting sixth grade this fall at Dingman-Delaware Middle School (DDMS). She's been competing for three years and practices more than 12 hours a week at Pike Gymnastics Academy. And yet, she still manages to maintain A's and B’s in her school work. Sammie also is active in after-school activities, including bridge and music clubs and “Lady Leaders on the Run.”

"It was my first time qualifying for worlds, and I worked hard all season,” she said. “I wanted to make it a good meet and make my coaches proud of me, especially Coach Jill."

Sammie would like to thank her sponsors: Lifetime Construction, Quinn, Mariotti and Abod Orthodontics, Alpin Haus, Masters Pest Control, and Buff’s Barbell.

Jenna Zuelch

Jenna Zuelch, 12, will be a seventh grader at DDMS this fall. She has been competing for three years. She is an honor roll student and is enrolled in honors classes. She sings in the chorus, plays trumpet in the DDMS band, and also plays field hockey — all this, in addition to her training at Pike Gymnastics.

Audrey Foster

Audrey Foster, 10, is in her second competitive season and will be starting fifth grade at Shohola Elementary School this fall. She practices 12-plus hours a week at Pike Gymnastics. When she’s not in the gym, she plays the violin with her school orchestra and is a member of the drama club. Earlier this year, she performed in the drama club's production “Happily Ever After."

Lundyn Van Horn

Lundyn Van Horn, 11, is an honors student starting seventh grade at DDMS. This is her first year at Pike Gymnastics and her first competitive season. She sings in the Dingman Delaware Children's Choir.So, how did it feel to place at worlds? She said, "Gucci! Speechless, proud of myself, happy. Thankful for all my coaches helping me get to World's in my first year of competition. I’m also thankful for the support of my family, Pike Gymnastics Academy, teammates and my sponsors, Milford School of Music, and VanHorn Tile."

Lundyn placed second on bars and sixth in the All-Around Gymnast category.

Coach Jill Lynch

Jill Lynch is the owner of Pike Gymnastic Academy, which opened just four years ago. Today she employs coaches who specialize in multiple areas.She has every reason to be proud of the four students that she and her other coaches trained so well, they qualified for the world competition.

“I thought they did wonderful," she said. "They put in a lot of work and hours — anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week. They have to compete in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania at qualifying meets. They first have to qualify for states, then at states have to qualify for regionals, then at regionals, they have to qualify for the world’s competition. The four that made it are really fantastic gymnasts.”Although only one of the foursome placed in the top 10, all of the girls had a significant achievement in making it through many levels to quality for the World Competition. Watch out for the Pike Gymnastics girls next year!

They first have to qualify for states, then at states have to qualify for regionals, then at regionals, they have to qualify for the world’s competition. The four that made it are really fantastic gymnasts.” -- Coach Jill Lynch