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Gymnast makes All State Team
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A young gymnast from Riverbank has been named to the All State Team at Level 7.

Nine-year-old Taylor Cox, the daughter of Bryan and Melinda Cox, has participated in gymnastics and trained at the U.S. Academy of Elite Gymnastics in Modesto since she was age four.

Competing in the NorCal State Gymnastics Championship in Visalia two weeks ago, she placed first in her age group and fourth overall out of approximately 400 competitors, said Jim Trost, one of her coaches and the academy owner. There are six girls on the All State Team

She spends up to 20 hours per week at the academy honing her skills on the uneven bars, balancing beam, floor exercise and vaulting. She also competes on weekends in various meets scattered from Arizona to Reno, said another academy coach Lori O'Dell.

"Besides gymnastics, Taylor likes to play basketball, spend time on a computer and, of course, go shopping," said her mother.

Level seven is the first level where competitors can demonstrate optional skills. "It's where gymnastics starts getting good," said O'Dell. It's on the way to the top Level 10, which denotes a gymnast of skills suitable for Olympic competition.

"Taylor is very proficient. She's now working on Level 8 skills," said Trost.