The Dover Atlantic Gymnastics Xcel team finished their 2015-2016 season with many successes. This was the first year Dover athletes competed in the Platinum Xcel division. (This is the fourth highest of five divisions in Xcel). Two Platinum team members even qualified to Regionals to compete against gymnasts from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New York, and Vermont. This was also the first year Dover had over 40 Xcel members, 44 to be exact. A successful season begins with summer training.
Dover’s Xcel athletes spent the summer of 2015 working out between six and nine hours weekly and supplementing their training with additional tumbling and recreational classes. The Atlantic coaches use the summer to develop their gymnasts into athletes that are competition ready by focusing on strength, flexibility, and fundamental skills.
Once September comes around, Dover’s gymnasts are in full ‘routine-mode’. Over the course of September and October the girls will learn their individual routines with emphasis on the requirements of each level. There are five levels in Xcel: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Atlantic Dover (AGTCD) competed in four of the five levels in the 2015-2016 season. AGTCD competed in meets mostly in New Hampshire with two away meets, one in Disney World and one in Brattleboro, VT.
The Blizzard Bash took place in mid-December 2015. This was a great opportunity for Dover’s gymnasts to show off their new routines. Atlantic’s gymnasts started 2016 off strong. At the Winter Carnival, hosted by Gymnastics at Brentwood Commons, Dover’s Bronze and Silver teams took 3rd place while Gold placed 2nd.
February was a busy month with meets nearly every weekend. Starting off the month was the Valentine’s Masquerade meet hosted by Phantom Gymnastics. Dover’s girls had a solid meet in each division. The Bronze team took home 1st place, Silver took 2nd and Platinum placed 3rd.
Next up in February was the big Presidential Classic meet in Orlando, Florida. This meet is offered only to Dover’s higher Xcel levels. This is a meet Atlantic Dover has participated in for the past three years. The Presidential Classic is a huge meet that takes place over four days. Gyms from all over the U.S. along with other countries (U.K. and Panama) travel to this well-known meet. The Platinum and Gold Atlantic teams had a great experience showing off their skills and routines.
After returning from Florida, all four levels of the Dover Xcel team participated in the Friendship Classic hosted by Granite State Gymnastics in Bow, NH. Each level performed passionately which was reflected in their results. The Gold and Bronze teams both took 2nd place while the Silver Atlantic team placed 1st. Many of the Silver team members are new to this level, making this victory all the more impressive.
After a one weekend hiatus from competition, the Dover Atlantic Xcel team traveled to Brattleboro, VT to participate in the Hip Hop Classic, one of the favorite meets of the season. Over the weekend, the team not only competes in a fantastic meet, but are also invited to a dance party hosted by the home gym. This is a great experience for all athletes where they can let loose and have fun with their team along with gymnasts they may compete against. Team Atlantic showed off all their hard work in their routines. On a very rare occasion do two teams ever have the same team score. The Silver teams from Atlantic Portsmouth and Atlantic Dover tied for 3rd place! Atlantic Dover Bronze team placed 2nd and Gold and Platinum both took home 1st place!
After a month filled with meets, the Dover gymnasts were back to training and working on new skills and improving the old. They returned to the meet circuit for the Tune Up meet hosted by Phantom Gymnastics in early April. This is an unique meet where the gymnasts receive not only scores, but feedback from the judges in preparation for their state meet. While no team awards were given out at this meet, Dover’s gymnasts took home a wealth of knowledge.
Using the tips and tricks received from the judges, Dover’s gymnasts entered the next meet, Spring Fling, with renewed confidence. This invitational meet would be the last chance to perform routines before States. Once again, Atlantic’s gymnasts were prepared. The Bronze team took 3rd place Gold took 2nd and Platinum nabbed 1st.
After a long season filled with competition, Dover’s girls were ready for their biggest meet yet. The State meet is for every Xcel gymnast all throughout New Hampshire. States is the last chance to show off each and everything skill a gymnast has learned over the course of the year. This is also the meet that determines Regional qualifiers for Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond divisions. (The Bronze level is not included in Regionals.) States is filled with tough competition, but Atlantic’s girls were strong and poised. The Bronze team took 8th place in the State while Silver placed 7th. Two Platinum gymnasts qualified for Regionals: Megan Hopkins made the NH State team and Sarah Bieniek would represent as an All-Star.
The two Regional qualifiers went on to compete in Shrewsbury, MA against teams from all over the region: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York. The NH State team placed 2nd against all the other states.
Atlantic Dover finished up their season with an exhibition ‘Fun Meet’ at their home gym. This was a chance for family and friends to come and check out what the girls are working towards. The entire Dover Xcel team will head to Canobie Lake Park as part of their end of the year celebration. The girls will return to the gym in early July to continue their training and prepare for next season.