Below are the highlights of this years 2 day state gymnastics meet held in Baton Rouge.  

There were 133 girls competing on Saturday at the 2014 LHSAA Gymnastic State Championships. Caddo Magnet scored 219.10 for first place, followed by St. Joseph’s Academy with 211.95, East Ascension, 210.85, Catholic of New Iberia 208.15 and Baton Rouge High 194.30, all of which had full teams competing in all three divisions.  

In Division III Level 4 competition, there were 63 competitors.  Caddo Magnet squeezed by E.D. White 111.65 to 111.45 to win that division. Individual winners were Lindsey Fitzgerald of Caddo on the bars and overall 4th place tie with Ridley Walker. Hannah Harlan took fourth place on bars.  Senior Anna Leskova was one of four in the state to received the LHSAA All-Academic Composite Team award.  

In Division II Level 5 competition was stiff with 40 competitors.  Captain Sarah Colbert, Co-Captain Natalie Wang and newcomer and freshman Meghan Fry held their ground.  Sarah placed 8th in the all-around against some of the best club gymnasts in the state.  Natalie came back to help her team after a serious injury, surgery and intense rehabilitation to her elbow to compete in two events scoring a 9.25 on floor!  

In Division I Level 8, newcomer and freshman Cara Armstrong, Level 8, also held her ground against 31 girls scoring an unbelievable 36.450.  She competed against the best level 8, 9, and 10 club gymnasts across the state, and most teams had 3 or more competitors in this division!

The boys lost by default as we didn't have any Division I Level 10s to safely compete this year. However, in Division II Level 5, newcomer Eddie Williams won the vault title.  He also placed third on rings, fifth on floor, fifth on pommel and fourth in the all around. Chris Davis placed third on rings, third on vault, fourth on high bar and sixth in the all round. Thomas Dunkelman placed fourth on pommel.  Andrew Zanmiller placed fifth on high bar, and was also one of only three in the state to receive the LHSAA All-Academic Composite Team award. 

Good Job!


Pictured from Left to Right, First Row: Kierstin Whitten, Aminah Smith, Coach Anderson, Kristen Hulshouser, Ridley Walker, Natalie Wang, Anna Leskova, Lakeitha Sims.  Second Row: Chelci Fitzgerald, Lindsey Fitzgerald, Christine Bodenheimer, Taylor Antee, Mollye Shacklette, Sarah Colbert, Katie Rose and Anna Leskova.  Not pictured:  LindaMarie Catanese, Ebony Gage, Hannah Harlan, Lauren Norton, and Presley Opbroek.

2012 LHSAA State Gymnastics Meet Highlights

This past weekend was the 35th LHSAA Gymnastics Championships. This two-day event was hosted by Baton Rouge Magnet High, Kevin Knee, in the Tommy McCoin gymnasium at their interim Lee High campus. Gymnasts from 30 schools were scheduled to compete.

Boys in Division II perform compulsory Level 5 routines, while Division I gymnasts perform optional Level 10 routines.

Baton Rouge High won the Division II championship, edging Caddo Magnet High 242.10 to 241.50. St. Paul’s was third with 227.40. However, St. Paul’s picked up the points it needed to win the overall team championship by winning Division I with 226.90 points. Baton Rouge High scored 184.60, and Caddo Magnet High 129.30.

It was a tough year for our boys. Division I Captain Nathan Wang was unable to compete due to a shoulder injury (labral tear). Not having his score really hurt our final overall team score. With St. Paul having 3 USAG nationally ranked Level 10 contenders, it was impossible for our boys high school PE program to compete with private club experience (CGs Gymnastics). So I just told the boys to have fun, keep it safe and finish the best they can. However, CMHS senior Jarell Jernigan took 3rd in the all around in Division II Level 5. Jarell worked so hard this past year having a goal of being on that podium for individual all around. His hard work and determination paid off! I'm so proud of him and our entire boys team. 

There were 114 girls altogether with 26 in Division I (level 8), 32 in Division II (level 5) and 51 in Division III (level 4).
Girls in Divisions II and III perform compulsory routines, while Division I gymnasts perform optional routines.

After the Division III, Level 4 competition on Saturday morning, ED White took 1st place (114.85) with Caddo Magnet High in 2nd (112.45), St Joseph's Academy 3rd (112.20) and Baton Rouge in 4th (109.3).

However, in Division II, Level 5 and Division I, Level 8 action in the afternoon, Caddo stretched its lead to the final 8.5 point margin! Caddo Magnet finished 1st place with 225.10 points to 216.95 for BRHS, and St. Joseph’s Academy finished in 3rd place with 191.55.

WE WON!!!!

Division I literally consists of USAG levels 8, 9 and 10 competitors. It is a remarkable experience to witness the talented athletes across the state come together in one high school gymnasium. Senior CMHS team Captain KeKee Sims, the defending Division I individual all-around champion, was edged for that honor by Lafayette High 38.85-38.25. KeKee has battled injuries to her hip and wrist the entire year but managed to toughen it out one last time for her high school. She will likely take her first year of college not competing, but remain training gymnastics with the hopes of a speedy recovery and come back her college sophomore year, and is keeping her options open at the collegiate level at this time. It really is once in a lifetime that I will come across a talented young lady like her at our local school. She has given so much to this sport since she was three years old and has proudly represented the state of Louisiana time and time again. I am blessed to have coached her and to have had her be a part of my team for the last three years.

As mentioned above, everybody comes for that title of individual all-around, but we got the one that matters the most--Team Championship. Kekee Sims and Senior Co-Captain Katie Rose didn’t just step up today, they stepped up the entire year. They led these girls all year long, and this weekend they held them together. Everybody on our team held their own. We were consistent. CMHS won the girl's championship a decade ago. Our high school PE program literally defeated private club teams and one other real high school program (Baton Rouge Magnet High) across the state. I hope this win will encourage other schools around the state to become active in the sport of gymnastics and get a program going in their schools. It's so good for the kids. It gets them fit, keeps them fit, and encourages them to become better athletes in all sports. It's a lot of work for one person, but the reward of seeing a smile on their face is simply priceless. I have a total of about 190 boys and girls in my gymnastics PE program. Out of 11 boys and 21 girls on my competitive team, only two girls are private club members. I think that says a lot about our program. I am so proud of my girls and what they achieved this year!

This was the final year for the meet to be held at the former Lee High site. Next year, BRHS will open their new school and gymnasium specifically designed for gymnastics. The equipment will be permanent--no constant setting up and tearing down. They will also have new equipment, new mats and room for a full competitive floor. It will be nice for spectators as well. It’s supposed to seat about 200 with good lighting, nice restrooms, concession space, and air conditioning! Though I will no longer have the same talented kids with losing 13 seniors on our team, I will continue to work hard and try to bring honor to Caddo Magnet High School and Caddo Parish. In my three short years I've managed to bring three state champion titles--two in archery and now one in gymnastics. None of this would be possible without the kid's hard work and dedication to Caddo Magnet High.

I want to send a special thanks Chris Hirsch of Jill's Gymnastics and Bill Hardy of AcroSports for allowing us to use their fully equipped facilities a few times each year to prepare for the state meet.


Julie Anderson

Team Members: Taylor Antee, Christine Bodenheimer, LindaMarie Catanese, Sarah Colbert, Chelci Fitzgerald, Lindsey Fitzgerald, Ebony Gage, Hannah Harlan, Kristen Hulshouser, Anna Leskova, Christian Lococo, Audrey Lutz, Lauren Norton, Presley Opbroek, Katie Rose, Mollye Shacklette, Lakeitha Sims, Aminah Smith, Ridley Walker, Natalie Wang, Kierstin Whitten, Connor Bacon, Jacob Benavidez, Connor Blackmon, Kellen Hall, Jarell Jernigan, Abe MacLean, Jeremy Ratliff, Jonathan Slocum, Josh Smoak, Nathan Wang, and Forrest Wright.


2011 LHSAA State Gymnastics Meet Highlights


Lakeitha Sims

Division I All Around State Champion!

Vault – 9.4 1st place State Champion

Bars – 9.3 1st place State Champion

Beam – 9.0 2nd place

Floor – 9.7 2nd place

(Lakeitha beat 13 other girls in her very competitive division)

Christine Bodenheimer

Division II 7th in the All Around

Floor – 9.55 1st place State Champion

(Christine placed 7th of 26 girls in her very competitive division)

Chelci Fitzgerald

Division III All Around State Champion!

Vault – 9.6 2nd place

Beam – 9.5 1st place State Champion

(Chelci beat 43 other girls in her division)

Division I Team – 1st Place State Team Champions

Division III Team – 3rd Place

Girls Overall Team – 2nd Place (again, the first trophy the girls have won in 8 years)


Nathan Wang

Division II 3rd in the All Around

Pommel – 13.6 1st place State Champion

Rings – 15.3 2nd place

Zack Strahan

Division III 4th in the All Around

Vault – 14.7 3rd place

Thomas Johnson

Division II 5th in the All Around

High Bar – 13.6 2nd place

Connor Benedict

Division II

Parallel Bars – 15.3 1st place State Champion

Michael Nguyen

Division II

Floor – 13.4 3rd place

Vault – 14.9 1st place State Champion

Jacob Benavidez

Division II

Vault – 14.8 2nd place

Division I Team – 2nd place

Division II Team – 1st Place State Team Champions

Boys Overall Team – 2nd Place

Overall Girls Team Scores:

1 Catholic NI 221.0
2 Caddo Magnet 220.0
3 BRHS 200.75
4 St. Joseph 183.4

Other participating schools:
Lafayette HS
Hamilton Christian
N. Vermilion
New Iberia
Isadore Newman
ED White

Overall Boys Team Scores:

1 BRHS 435.6
2 Caddo Magnet 419.5
3 St. Paul 143.8
4 ED White 83.4
5 Episcopal 78.6
6 Catholic BR 66.2
7 Catholic NI 56.6
8 ACHS 50.3


GIRLS: According to the LHSAA archives, the girls have not scored this high as far back as the records go. In 2002 CMHS won the state championship with a 203.4

St. Joseph’s Academy (223.90) state champions
Catholic-New Iberia (219.60) state runner-up
Caddo Magnet (215.00) third place
Baton Rouge Magnet High (189.55) fourth place
Dutchtown (132.25) fifth place

Level 4 had 35 state competitors representing 8 different schools in the state:
Chelsi Fitzgerald, Level 4, placed 4th on Vault
Julie Jobe place 8th AA in the state with a 34.8

Level 5 had 32 state competitors representing 12 different schools in the state:
Christine Bodenheimer, Level 5, placed 4th on Balance Beam and Floor exercises, AND 3rd AA state title with a 37.05
Kristen Hulshouser also placed 8th AA in the state with a 36.6

Level 8 had 18 competitors representing 11 different schools in the state:
KeKee Sims, Level 8, placed 4th on Uneven Bars, and 5th AA state title with a 36.6


BOYS: According to the LHSAA archives, the boys haven't scored this high since 2006, when they won their state championship with a 258.10.

Baton Rouge Magnet High (253) state champion
Caddo Magnet High (246.6) state runner-up

Level 10 had 7 competitors representing 2 schools:
Garrett Simmons, Level 10, placed 3rd on Still Rings, and 3rd AA state title
Paul Brown, Level 10, place 2nd on Vault, High Bar and Floor exercise, 3rd on Pommel Horse and 4th AA
O'Mar Finley, Level 10, placed 2nd on Pommel Horse and 5th AA

Level 5 had 25 competitors representing 4 schools in the state:
Breion Thomas, Level 5, placed 2nd on Floor exercise, and 3rd Tie AA state champion
Nathan Wang, Level 5, placed 1st, State Champion on Pommel Horse, and 4th on Parallel Bars
Thomas Johnson, Level 5, placed 3rd on Still Rings, and 4th on Vault
Josh Smoak, Level 5, placed 4th on High Bar
Zack Strahan, Level 5, placed 4th on Vault
Jeremy Ratliff, Level 5, placed 4th on Still Rings and 5th on Floor

Also, please congratulate Claire Crosby, our team co-captain and Samira Sayad for completing and competing 4 years with Caddo Magnet High School. Garrett Simmons, our team captain, and O'Mar Finley, our team co-captain, both have 2 years under their belts and they will be missed. All four students have proudly represented Caddo Magnet High School. Their leadership and character is truly inspiring.