Qualifying for gymnastics regionals a thrill for Hahn

Photo by Dean Humphrey—11-year-old Bryce Hahn has learned a lot this year under the tutelage of coach Kyle Luke, including how to do a handstand and a backflip on the parallel bars.

Bryce Hahn had to have a solid score on rings if he was going to qualify for regionals.

The Grand Junction 11-year-old needed a 12.5 and scored 13.1.

The Colorado West Gymnastics Level 6 gymnast advanced to regionals with an all-around score of 76.5 at the Colorado State Championships in Wheat Ridge. The USAG Level 6 regional championships are April 11 in Albuquerque, N.M.

“I guess I was really excited because this is my fourth or fifth year trying to qualify for regionals,” he said. “I went out there and played my hardest. I had fun.”

He needed a good score on rings after a disappointing floor exercise routine, usually his best event.

“After floor, I thought, ‘I’m not going to make it to regionals,’ ” Hahn said. “The first guy got a 15.7 and took first place. I was put to the test.”

Hahn’s best routine in the state meet was on his favorite apparatus — vault. He placed seventh.

“It’s short and not really that complicated,” Hahn said. “It’s just a straight, front handspring and I’m really good at it.”

Hahn has competed in gymnastics meets for a handful of years, beginning in Level 4, but has never qualified for regionals until now.

“This has been his passion since he was 2 years old,” said his father, Richie Hahn.

The elder Hahn credits coach Kyle Luke for his son’s improved scores this season. Luke is a Grand Junction High School graduate and former gymnast.

“That’s probably half the reason he qualified this year, because of Kyle,” Richie Hahn.

Bryce Hahn, who scored 64 in his first meet of the season, learned several things from Luke.

“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I never thought I would learn a backflip off the parallel bars until I was a lot older. Kyle taught me. I never thought my scores could improve 10 points from the first meet.”

Hahn, who stands 4-foot-5, said he’s improved the most on doing handstands on parallel bars.

“I’ve been working a lot on parallel bars,” he said. “I was a little fuzzy, but know I’m getting used to it.”

He is still getting used to the fact he’ll be competing in regionals in another week and a half.

“I’m excited I get to go to regionals,” Hahn said. “I haven’t really been thinking about it. I’m going to go there and try my best.”


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