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Gymnasts show off their skills
Times photo: Brian Gray Sadie Swenson, 13, Monroe, performs in the floor routine during the Stars of the Future gymnastics invitational Saturday at the Green County Family YMCA in Monroe. Each girl must learn specific moves for the routine and are judged on how well they perform.
MONROE - It takes a lot of time to become a medal-winning gymnast.

"They practice many, many, many hours," Monroe coach Dawn Lederman said of the 25 girls she coaches. "They practice three days a week all year round."

Gymnasts from across the area competed Saturday at the "Stars of the Future" gymnastics invitational at the Green County Family YMCA. They got to show their skills on the floor, the bars and the balance beam.

Various levels of competition allowed each of the athletes to compete against others with similar skills. The girls ranged in age from 6 to 18.

In the floor event, each girl had to learn, and perfect if she wanted to win, the moves of a junior Olympic routine.

It can be challenging, Josie Eberle, 10, Monroe, said.

"It took me two months to learn the moves," she said with a smile.

Eberle and her teammates concentrated on their movements. Each move was carefully observed by a judge to score. And each move was met with approval from Lederman, who advised and encouraged the team to do their best and what mistakes to avoid while they performed their routines.

Perseverance is a key ingredient to being successful.

If they fall or make a mistake, the most important thing is to try again and keep working on their skills until they get them right, Tre Voegeli and Chandra McGuire said.

Another thing all of the girls need in order to compete is energy, Eberle said.

She hopes her energy will take her far in the field of gymnastics.

"I want to be in the 2016 Olympics," she said.

A dream no doubt shared by many of the girls who competed Saturday.