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Voegeli national bound
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Monroe 13-year-old Tre Voegeli qualified for the YMCA National Gymnastics Championships June 24-27 in Pennsylvania. The championships is hosted by the branch of the Phoenixville, Pa. YMCA. Voegeli will turn the trip to nationals into a week long family vacation.
MONROE - For Tre Voegeli gymnastics can be a lesson in geography.

Voegeli, 13, of Monroe earned an overall qualifying score on the floor, balance beam, uneven bars and vault earlier in the second meet of the YMCA girls gymnastics season to qualify for the YMCA National Gymnastics Championships. The championships is hosted by the branch of the Phoenixville, Pa. Freedom Valley YMCA June 24-27 at the United Sports Training Center in Dowingtown, Pa.

Now that she has qualified, Voegeli, a level five gymnast, had to find her way there.

"I had no clue," Voegeli said of where Phoenixville was located. "I had to look it up on the Internet."

Voegeli and her family will turn her trip to the national gymnastics meet into a family vacation. She will leave Sunday for a week-long vacation to Pennsylvania as she competes on the floor, balance beam, uneven bars and vault June 26.

Voegeli, who has been involved with gymnastics for five years including three on the YMCA team, has found a home in the gym.

"When I do gymnastics I feel like I can get away from everything outside," she said. "It would be great to place on something. I want to do the best I can."

After just missing a trip to nationals last year in Sheboygan, Voegeli is excited to be making the trek to Pennsylvania this summer.

"I was very excited because last year I barely made it to state," she said. "It felt good to know that I improved."

The Green County YMCA had all 21 gymnasts qualify for nationals, but Voegeli is the only one who will make the journey to Pennsylvania.

"I think she has a lot of potential and she can do well if she can handle the pressure," said Dawn Lederman, Green County YMCA gymnastics coordinator. "If she is on that day and she does up to her potential, she should do well."

Lederman will not make the trip, but Voegeli will compete and be coached by the Beloit YMCA.

"Financially, it's not feasible for me to go out there and coach one girl," Lederman said. "I feel bad I won't be there for her. It would have been nice to have the experience of going with teammates of her own. She will be OK She's consistent. She knows her routines well."

Lederman said making the trip to nationals would cost an estimated $800 to $1,000, cost that was probably too much in tough economic times.

After competing at nationals, Voegeli will have a quick turnaround as she gets back in the gym practicing to advance. She has her sights set on jumping into level seven as a gymnast for the fall. Before that can happen, Voegeli will have to compete in a level six competition and reach a mobility score to advance.

"I think if I work hard I can accomplish that," she said.

The YMCA summer session gymnastics program begins June 22.

"Our kids are in the gym year round," Lederman said. "If they want to advance, they have to be in the gym year round."

Even though Lederman and Voegeli's teammates will not make the trip to nationals with her, she will have a family cheering section.

"I think that will make it more memorable," she said.