The athletes at Axis Gymnastics made their return to the state championships late last month and returned home with a haul.

The championships, held March 20-21 in Gillette, saw gymnasts competing across disciplines and levels. Axis brought home 25 individual state titles.

It was the first state championships held since 2019, after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic. It affected this season too, as the gym was closed until last May and the athletes weren’t able to start the season competition until February instead of its usual start in December.

“We did things slowly, we weren’t able to train as much as they usually do, and throughout the season we had to manage and battle through quarantines with the team,” Axis owner Jess Larson said. “The girls had to push through all of that, be resilient.”

Five gymnasts qualified for regional championships, with different skill levels holding contests in different states. The region encompasses Wyoming, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas, meaning a stiff level of competition.

Lucy Macauley and Abby Lucas qualified for Level 7 regionals in Aurora, Colorado. Becca Griebel qualified for the Level 8 regionals in Overland Park, Kansas, and both Maya Ramkowsky and Lucy Turner qualified for the Level 9 regionals, which was recently held in Lubbock, Texas.

Ramkowsky qualified for the Western Championships by placing fifth, making her the first gymnast in Wyoming history to qualify for the event. It will be held in Iowa next month.

“It’s a really difficult region because of Texas,” Larson said. “It gives us some recognition, and college recruiters are at Westerns looking for gymnasts. It puts us on the map, so they’ll have an eye on Axis and know we’re a program that can develop potential college athletes.”

Larson mentioned outgoing senior Rory Sullivan as a key component of the Level 8 team at Axis, having been a part of the program since she was around 4 years old.

“Throughout the season we had to manage and battle through quarantines.” — Jess Larson axis gymnastics

Contact Chance Q. Cook at 732-7065,

Sports Editor Chance Cook has lived in rural Pennsylvania, upstate New York and Butte, Montana. He is no stranger to spending time in the woods chasing animals. If you see him out, challenge him to a game of pool. Send tips and questions.

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