Tumbling into 2019
Deniliquin gymnast Nick Caruso is looking to build on a strong 2018 heading into the new year.
The 12 year-old qualified for the Gymnastics Victoria state team for a second year in a row after a successful performance at the recent state qualifier at Palmer’s Gym Bendigo.
This will see Nick compete in the tumbling event at the Australian Gymnastics Championships at Melbourne once again, where he finished fifth overall in the Under 13s class last year.
‘‘I didn’t think I would make it this year as they’ve become tougher with scoring,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve also gone up an age division to the Under 14s.
‘‘I was so excited when my name was called out as one who had qualified.
‘‘It’s going to be a big challenge, but it will be a great experience.’’
The past 12 months has seen Nick compete at the top level of gymnastics against the best in Australia.
At the start of 2018 Nick travelled to Sydney with his Flipstars Deni coach Rachel Bucholtz to train at the renowned Kachan School of Tumbling and Performance for a four day coaching/gymnast clinic.
After learning from the best Nick trained hard to finish first in his Level 6 competition at the Victorian State Championships held at Melbourne in October.
It was an impressive result as Nick had stepped up two levels from the previous year, following on from his Level 4 win at the 2017 state titles.
While competing well individually, Nick also proved to be a strong team player as well, claiming a gold banding at local and NSW state level with the Rockin Flipstars, a Team Gym squad from Flipstars Deni.
‘‘I travel to Bendigo every week and train at Palmers Gym who I compete for in Victoria,’’ he said.
‘‘I enjoy the travel and I’ve made plenty of friends there.
‘‘I also train in Deni at Flipstars with Rachel (Bucholtz) twice a week, which allows me to compete at NSW state level in Team Gym.’’
Nick’s efforts were recently recognised by Gymnastics Victoria, being selected for the Victorian High Performance Plan Trampoline (TRP) Development Squad.
The squad was created to raise the standard of competitive TRP athletes and coaches in Victoria, with the aim to support athletes to achieve podium success for Australia at benchmark events.
‘‘I can’t wait to get started with the squad,’’ Nick said.
‘‘It will help me to fast track my skills in gymnastics and will be great for my development.
‘‘I’m hoping to get higher than a fifth place finish at the 2019 national event, so this should help me achieve that goal.’’
RIGHT: Nick Caruso with the gold medal that he won at the 2018 Gymnastics Victoria State Championships.