Golden State Classic at Rancho Cordova

First meet jitters didn’t stop Auburn’s veterans gymnasts from taking home gold.


AUBURN - The first meet of the season is always viewed as the first real chance to see how Auburn Gymnastics Center’s gymnastics team is going to stack up in the New Year.

“It doesn’t matter how long they have been competing in this sport, or how prepared they are, the kids get nervous before the first meet,” Coach Jennifer Christenson said. “The first time they step out there for the season is filled with new tricks and expectations – it is a tough hurdle to get over.”

Emily Esteban at 15 years old nailed her first meet to win 1st place all-around.

The coaching staff works hard to get the kids to perform under pressure with dress rehearsals and in house meets, but the real test for the girls’ team came Saturday as they took the mat in Rancho Cordova for the Golden State Classic.

The Auburn team veterans, with ages ranging from 10 years old to 16 years old, are the Center’s top kids and they ended the day with five 1st place finishes a feat that is considered a job well done in gymnastics circles.

Emily Esteban lead the level 7 team with a strong start on beam earning a 9.05 and setting the pace for herself to continue strong. She took to the floor earning a 9.275 then followed up on vault with a 9.025 and bars with a 9.075 to win the meet with a 36.425 in the all around. She won bars in the individual events and placed second on beam and third on floor.

“Emily (Esteban) is 15 years old and at perfect place with her gymnastics - she has worked through some tough hurdles,” Christenson said. “She was nervous mostly for beam and that is where she has to start the meet. Her competitive spirit and determination won out. It was a great start of the season for her.”

Allyson Osborn, 16, was also struck with first meet jitters but pulled off a third place finish on floor and landed in the top 5 in the all-around with a 35.25.

“We expect to see Allyson (Osborn) have a banner season,” Christenson said.

Level 6, Maya Thrasher, 10, opened her season with a first place win on the floor with a 9.525 and a bronze third place win on beam with a 9.35.

Teammate, Annaliese Nobile, 10, placed third on floor with a 9.275 making it into the top 10 in the all-around with a 35.075.

Level 6 Sierra Gartrell, 12, was in the top 5 on bars and floor, starting of her season with a 35.225 all-around.

Rebekah Durham, 12, stood out on the vault with an 8.925 she placed in the top 10 on each event opening her season with a 34.875 in the all-around.

Midori Ogino delivered a stunning beam routine which earned her a 9.5 and the gold on beam, her season opening all-around was a 32.925.

The team will be in Napa on Jan. 17 while the boys’ team has their season opening meet at Stanford University the same day. “We are coming out strong and with our heads held high,” Christenson said. “It’s a good time to be a gymnast here at Auburn Gymnastics.”

Auburn Gymnastics Center is at 290 Palm Ave in Auburn. Beginning gymnastics lessons for all ages are open.

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