Sports Stories

A young Sedona gymnast is one of the top gymnasts in her age group, and it’s only her first year competing.

Kiara Bruening, 11, holds medals Saturday, Nov. 24, she won during the Arizona State Championships Level 4 Gymnastics event held Nov. 10 and Nov. 11, in Glendale. Bruening took first place on the bars. Kiara Bruening, 11, became one of the top gymnasts in the state of Arizona in the uneven bars event and placed second in the all-around at the Arizona State Gymnastics Level 4 competition in Glendale on Nov. 10 and 11.

More than 32 gyms and 355 gymnasts competed at the Arizona State Gymnastics competition in Levels 1 through 10. Bruening performed in the beam, floor, vault and uneven bars events for the all-around competition. She lost to the first-place winner by 0.25 of a point.

“I was little bit nervous because there were a lot of kids,” Bruening said. “But it was fun. I tried hard on all of the events to get high scores.”

Bruening slipped during her warm-ups, making her a little scared that it might affect her routines, but she was fine. She scored a 9.7 out of 10 on her uneven bars.

“When Kiara landed on her uneven bars and we saw the score, it didn’t matter how the rest of the day went,” said Cory Bruening, Kiara’s father. “We were so proud and amazed. But it’s one of the most nerve-wrecking things I’ve experienced in a while to watch your child go off and not know how she will handle that mentally.”

“She is a wonderful girl,” said Tom Cadigan, Kiara Bruening’s first gymnastics instructor. “It was so nice to see her hard work pay off.”

This was the first year Bruening has done gymnastics competitively, but she has been a gymnast since she was 4 years old, with a “play date gone wrong,” as her dad likes to put it. Bruening started the sport when a friend introduced it to her and has done it for seven years now simply because

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Nov. 28, issue of the Red Rock News.