Auburn's Gymnasts Rise at the Red Heart Invitational


AUBURN – One of the frequent things you will hear sitting on the lobby of Auburn Gymnastics Center is the coaches encouraging kids to “get back up.”

“There is no one better at falling down and getting back up than a gymnast,” Coach Natalie Otis said. “That is something that we train in spades and frankly it’s a life lesson that these young girls will appreciate long after they hang up their grips.”

Watching gymnastics on the television as a casual onlooker you can only see the big mistakes, but to make it to the podium at a competition like the 2017 Red Heart Invitational with some of Northern California gymnastics heavy hitters – you must know how to do 100 little things - right.

Kyla Rector a 10-year-old Auburn Elementary School student hit one big vault, just right and the only “getting up” she was doing at that competition was climbing to the top of the podium to collect her gold medal.

Kyla won vault,” Coach Haley Christenson announced to the team.

She wasn’t alone in her victory as Holly Hansen and Ana Hamilton also stood proudly on the top spots at their respective competitions.

Hansen took 1st place on vault and beam while Hamilton won the floor.

“It really is 100 things that are trained and trained and trained until they get smoothed out and look like they are a natural way the body moves,” Otis said.

The coaching staff said that they don’t shy away from big competitions like the 2017 Red Heart Invitational because the club is always wanting to push the athletes to reach higher and get better and better.

“We make themselves stronger and faster and train harder,” Otis said. “When you see your toughest competition, you know what you have to do.”

The top level team is Mariah Belman, Katelyn Carter, Rebekah Durham, Ana Hamilton, Holly Hansen, Marissa Jilot, Annaliese Nobile, Midori Ogino, Kyla Rector, Delany Stetka and Maya Thrasher.

They will travel to Las Vegas in two weeks.

“We are in full swing,” Otis said. “We are training hard, putting our head down and getting it done.”


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.