Mas Wantanabe Invitational January 2017


AUBURN – He started out in the Parent and Tot classes at Auburn Gymnastics Center running in circles and diving head first into parachute games and now - at just 6-years-old - Kannon Rector is a State Champion.


Zeph Thomas claimed seven of the possible seven gold medals for his division at the 2017 Mas Watanabe Invitational. The 14-year-old won every event and the all-around.

The Level 6 boys’ gymnastics team from Auburn Gymnastics Center were focused and ready for competition. Christopher Otis, Kannon Rector, Beck Thomas and Kohen Rugg banded together during a tough meet in Elk Grove.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this for anything,” Level 4, John Wood said.

The Level 4 team beat out four other teams for the win and the level 5 team beat out seven other teams for their collective team win.

“We were all so pumped,” Coach Natalie Otis said. “They, celebrated and took the team banner and each member will be signing it.”

The stellar performances continued during the day-long tournament as the Level 4, 5, 6 and optional men’s gymnastics teams from Auburn Gymnastics Center finished a busy weekend full of gymnastics competitions with 17 gold medals and 5 top three division champions.

“We will take that,” Otis said. “We are also going back to back weekends with another competition in Rancho Cordova next weekend and can only celebrate for so long before we have to get back at it.”

At the top of the podium 7 times was 14-year-old Place High School student, Zeph Thomas who won 1st on floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar and the all-around.

Top dog on the Level 5 team, 8-year-old, Gavin Otis, won the rings with 1st place by scoring a huge 10.4 and took 2nd place in the all-around as well as 2nd place on the vault and 3rd on the floor, pommel horse, and parallel bars.

Ten-year-old, Level 5, Parker Steinmann was 2nd on floor and was 3rd on high bar and 3rd in the all-around.

“Parker (Steinmann) had an excellent meet,” Otis said. “His high bar is quite impressive.”

Beck Thomas, 11, was 3rd on vault as a Level 6 while Level 5 Miguel Solivan, 11, was 1st on the vault and 2nd on the parallel bars.

“There were some standout routines, and it’s still early in the season,” Otis said. “We are always pushing to make improvements.”

Bowman Charter School student Wyatt Walker, 7, had his best showing as a Level 4. He landed on the podium for his floor routine with 2nd place, his rings with 3rd place and on the high bar with 2nd place.

Level 4 Daniel Medrano, 8, was 1st on the parallel bars and took 3rd on the floor, pommel horse and high bar.

Alex Harris, 11, took 3rd on the floor and 2nd on the high bar.

Competing Level 4 division 2 was John Wood, 12, and Noah Al-Shaikh, 10. Al-Shaikh took 1st on every event and the all-around for his division and Wood took 2nd.

“We were thrilled for them,” Otis said.


Auburn Gymnastics Center specializes in teaching gymnastics to children of all ages and abilities and features a special needs gymnastics program that offers scholarships.

Call (530) 823-2031 or go to for more information.