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Community Champions: Bel Air gymnastics flips into history books with highest state finish in program history

EL PASO, Texas - The Bel Air girls gymnastics team knew they had something special entering the season.

Despite the challenges they faced due to Covid-19, the team overcame the obstacles and ended the season with their highest finish ever at the state competition.

The Highlanders are among the top ten teams in Texas after they finished in 6th place at state.

For Bel Air's head coach Kristen Schumacher it was a special accomplishment as this year marked her 35th season at Bel Air.

Schumacher says this year's group of girls were special and their success was a result of all the hard work they put in this season.

"It just keeps growing, and growing." Schumacher said. "Here we are today with the 6th best team in the state for high school gymnastics, it's amazing."

At the state competition, Schumacher was also honored with the Texas Gymnastics Coach of the Year award.

A well deserved recognition for a coach who has spent more than 3 decades at Bel Air.

"We started out with no equipment at Bel Air," Schumacher said. "Then we gained equipment, and then we got a new gym, and now I've got amazing athletes and it's just all overwhelming."

This season was also special for Bel Air gymnast, Amanda Martinez, a senior on the team.

She finished in third place as an individual at the state competition.

Martinez credits all of her teammates for the success that they had this year.

She added she was happy to help lay the foundation for the Bel Air gymnastics program, and she believes the best is yet to come for the Highlanders.

"There is so much potential on this team," Martinez said. "Hopefully I did my job to inspire them, and to keep working hard and hopefully they can go further. Honestly they have more potential than I do, and I see them surpassing me and doing better things than I did."

For their accomplishments this season, the Bel Air gymnastics team has been named Community Champions.

Community Champions is sponsored by Albertsons and the El Paso Community Foundation.

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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