KidzPlex’s Muhr excited about 2nd straight Junior Olympic berth

Cammi Muhr is hoping to perform better on the beam at this year’s Junior Olympics National Tournament on May 17 in Seattle. A fall on her landing in last year’s tournament still bothers her.

Cammi Muhr had a lot on her mind.

There was the stress of school, with the ACT test coming up in five days. She was behind in one class.

Just making it over to Denver before the passes were closed during a blizzard that
blanketed the state a week and a half ago was challenge enough.

Then there was the matter of competing in the USAG Level 10 Regional Gymnastics Championships.

Muhr, a Grand Junction High School junior, was able to put all the other distractions behind her April 18.

By taking 10th place at the regional meet at Thomas Jefferson High School, she earned her second consecutive berth in the Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament on May 17 in Seattle. The top 10 overall finishers in each region qualify for the national tournament.

Competing in the Senior B division, Muhr is the first western Colorado gymnast to qualify for the Junior Olympics, and she’s done it twice.

“It was harder this time for some reason,” she said. “I don’t know why.”

After getting a taste of the national competition last year, Muhr is excited about returning with experience at that level.

“It helps a lot,” she said of having been through the rigors of competing against the best in the country. “I’m anxious to go see it.”

Muhr’s best event is the vault, something she’s worked hard to improve on this season.

She’s also scored well in the floor exercise and the vault.

“The vault’s kind of off and on,” she said. “This year it’s been good.”

Her coach, Brian Bensley, said Muhr has all the tools.

“She’s built for this sport,” he said. “She’s one of the most talented gymnasts I’ve ever been around.”

Muhr, who competed against gymnasts from seven states at the regionals, puts in 12 hours a week of practice. Some of her competitors work out as many as 30 hours a week.

If there’s one achievement she wants to reach at this year’s nationals, it’s on her favorite apparatus.

“My goal is to stick (my landing on) the beam,” she said.

That’s partly to make up for her beam routine at last year’s nationals, when she fell.

“If she could stick her beam, she’d win it,” Bensley predicted.

She’s got three weeks to fine-tune her routines.

“I just (want to) perfect my skills,” she said. “I want to work on my (beam) dismount.”

Being a junior, she’s got another year left competing at the club level, one both she and Bensley eagerly anticipate.

“It’s been a roller-coaster ride,” Bensley said.

More important, “It’s been a fun ride,” he added.


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