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Thursday, June 24, 2010 01:41 am


About 2,800 young athletes left Springfield last Saturday after a week of competition in the United States Tumbling and Trampoline Association (USTA) National Championships held here.

A few, however, didn’t have far to go to take their medals and trophies back home. Competing against more than 130 teams last week, the Springfield-based L & M Gymnastics and Kids team earned 20 top 10 rankings.

“We’re very, very proud of our athletes,” says L & M owner Merrill McDaniels. “It was on home ground, and that happens so rare.”

Twenty L & M athletes participated in the national competition, which included tumbling, trampoline and double mini, involving a smaller sloped trampoline, events.

“I hope as much of the community got an opportunity to come and actually see the athletes in competition,” says McDaniels. “Since that’s not in school, their peers aren’t always able to have a great appreciation for the athletic skills.”

The competition was held at the Prairie Capital Convention Center from June 15 to 19. It was the first time Springfield hosted the event in more than 20 years, McDaniels says.
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