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Gym Star gymnasts make it to Regionals, Athlete Blaine advances to Utah Championships

By Grace McCarthy

Local gymnasts recently placed at the United States Regional Gymnastics Championships, and an athlete from Blaine has gone on to compete against gymnasts from across the country.

Ferndale’s Gym Star Sports Center sent six athletes to regionals last month. Youth from Whatcom County competed at advanced levels against gymnasts from the western United States of Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Ferndale resident Bella Burns, 15, and Blaine resident Charley Huffman, 12, competed in level 8 at regionals in Ridgefield, Wash. April 21-24 (gymnasts start at level 1 as children and can work their way up to level 10, comparable to college level.) Burns finished with a score of 34.825 and Huffman finished with an overall score of 35.725.

Blaine residents Kasey DeJong, 12, and Chloe Broyles, 16, and Ferndale resident Sabrina Barrett, 14, participated in Xcel Platinum Regionals in Monroe, Wash., April 29-May 1.

After placing fourth all around in regionals, Blaine resident Campbell DeJong, a 14-year-old gymnast, qualified for the Tier 9 Western Championships in Salt Lake City May 5-8. Campbell DeJong competed against gymnasts from 25 other states and placed 11th all around with a score of 36.6, fourth on balance beam, 15th on vault and 17th on bars.

“She’s very accomplished at what she does at her age,” said Carolyn Saletto, owner of Gym Star. “It’s not easy. Not everyone achieves that goal.”

Saletto said she only knows of one other athlete from Whatcom County who has qualified for the Western Championships.

“All of these girls were competing at post-season levels,” Saletto said. “It’s very important and it’s very difficult to get to the regionals.”