Peak Gymnastics sends first athlete to Westerns competition

Alysen Posey has been doing gymnastics since she was just one year old.

When Sara Posey first signed up her one-year-old daughter for the Mini Peaks sessions at Peak Gym, it was just a way to help Alysen get some energy out.

But over the years, Alysen showed real talent for the sport, and at 13, will be the first Peak’s gymnast to head to Westerns.

“It’s exciting, but I also wasn’t expecting it,” she said in a recent interview before logging in some practice hours. “I’m kind of in shock.”

For athlete’s at Alysen’s level, they have to progress through state and regionals first — the Boise, Idaho Level 9 Western Championships on May 5 is the equivalent of nationals, even though only the Western half of the country participates.

Although this is only Alysen’s first year at Level 9, she was ranked 6th overall at the last regionals competition.

Her favorite event is floor, at which she placed 3rd at regionals, “because there’s a lot of performing and you get to dance and tumble, so it’s pretty much everything.”

For those that know the lingo, the routine includes “a roundoff back hand spring, one and a half, and then I do a switch ring leap, wolf full; and then my second tumbling pass is a front handspring front layout for pike; and then my third tumbling pass is a roundoff whip half to punch pike.”

Of course, this is leaps and bounds from what she was doing when she was younger.

“When she was three, she could do back hand springs,” Posey recalled. “And as a first time mom, I didn’t really realize all three year olds do back hand springs.”

Her skills now reflect a 16 hours of practice a week (“I’m here more than my actual home,” Alysen said.)

“She’s a hard worker,” said co-coach Ben Skipworth, who also works with Sophia Gamblin. “… It’s paid off for her.”