July 15, 2007

Moore achieves new gymnastics success

West Bloomfield Eccentric
by Mike Rosenbaum

Kamerin Moore
West Bloomfield resident Kamerin Moore recently became the youngest gymnast in the U.S. to qualify for International Junior Elite status, the highest possible level for a junior gymnast.

Moore, 11, posted a score of 55.5 points at a qualifying tournament held in May at the Karoyli Ranch in Houston, under the eye of U.S. National team coordinator Martha Karoyli. The minimum score necessary to qualify was 53. Moore's score was good enough to qualify for Senior Elite status, but senior gymnasts must be 16.

The average age of a Junior Elite gymnast in the U.S. is 14, according to Moore's coach, John Geddert of the Lansing-based Twistars.

"In order to achieve that level, at the age she has, it means basically you can't have a weakness," Geddert explains. "So she's improved across the board, pretty remarkably, actually. She's the youngest qualified Elite athlete in the country right now."

Moore was the vault champion in her final Junior Olympic level 10 national event. She then placed second all-around at the Houston qualifier, finishing first on balance beam and second on floor and vault. She'll compete next at the U.S. Classic in Battle Creek, July 27-29, where Moore hopes to qualify for the premier U.S. gymnastics event, the Championships of the USA, in San Jose this August.

"If she does what she's supposed to do she shouldn't have a problem" qualifying for the Championships, Geddert says.

"That is her one-and-only goal at this point," adds Moore's mother, Kristin.

Geddert says Moore's strengths include a combination of physical ability and mental discipline.

"The girl can jump over a house," Geddert says. "She's extremely physically talented. She's very fast, very powerful. So the power events, like vaulting and tumbling, are suited for her best right now, although she does very well on balance beam, also."

Additionally, Geddert says, Moore has definite goals, including a desire to compete for an Olympic berth in 2012.

"Most 11-year-olds don't know what they want to do tomorrow, let alone a couple years down the road," Geddert says. "She's very determined to achieve a high level in gymnastics. She knows it's a long road and she's in it for the long haul. She's a joy to coach because she comes in every day with a positive attitude. She's got a great sense of humor and she's fun to be around, so she makes it real easy to coach her. Even when the work gets tough she still tackles it with a great attitude."

Kamerin's younger brothers, Jacob, 8, and Joshua, 6, also compete in gymnastics and train at Twistars, so the Moore family could be prominent in U.S. gymnastics for quite some time.