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Bouncing Through Life
Posted on October 3, 2010
Students Use Gymnastics Training To Prompt Success in Many Areas
Two students training at the North County Gymnastics & Gyminny Kids facility in 4S Ranch may be a few years apart, but they certainly share both a love and the talent to succeed in gymnastics and many other areas.
Alexander (Lexa) Staskus, daughter of Denice Mittelstaedt and Paul Staskus and involved in gymnastics for 14 years, is a junior at Mt. Carmel High School.
The Rancho Penasquitos resident has leveraged her skills and agility learned in the Gyminny Kids program into a number of sports successes.
“I competed on the varsity gymnastics team as a sophomore, and I was involved in the CIF tournaments as both a freshman and sophomore – with Mt. Carmel winning both years,” Staskus said. “This year, I am also on the volleyball team.”
The talented 16-year-old – who has an older brother, Kyle, attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – also plays lacrosse, a sport she hopes to play one day in college.
In addition to getting good grades at school (her favorite subject is German language; “awesome teacher, awesome classmates, awesome language, ‘nuff said”), Staskus enjoys technical theater, rock concerts, and music. She one day hopes to be an environmental engineer, and “gets paid in ice cream for walking my neighbors’ dogs”.
Marco Leong, son of David Leong and Barbara Romano, attends Black Mountain Middle School (in the Academy program) and has been involved gymnastics for nine years.
Also a resident of Rancho Penasquitos, the 13-year-old Leong has progressed to such complex moves as a front tuck with a full twist, a back tuck, and a round off back handspring through hard work, expert instruction and perseverance. He also participates on the Gyminny Kids Demo Team, giving performances throughout San Diego, including San Diego State University Aztecs’ and University of San Diego Toreros’ events.
Plus, Leong has a passion for drumming and music (with an interest in be-bop jazz, among other genres), swims and has a black belt in taekwondo. His favorite subjects in school include band and mathematics.
And he has his very own favorite macaroni and cheese recipe. “I like to cook,” Leong said. “I would like to consider being a chef, but many other professions and opportunities may rise. I’m only 13 and would like to keep my options open.”
Leong – who has an older brother Gianni who also participated in the Gyminny Kids’ programs – is described as “a happy kid with an absolute zest for life”. According to his parents, when he leaves his gymnastics session, he is soaked in sweat with beet-red cheeks and a beaming smile that is both genuine and contagious.