SAUK RAPIDS - This week’s All-Star Student is celebrating a state championship in boys’ gymnastics. Michael Stone took first place in two events while at the Minnesota Men's State Gymnastic Championships. Nico Velazquez in his coach at North Crest Activity Center.

Michael Stone at North Crest Activity Center. (Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

He says, "Michael is our senior this year, level 8. He took first on Vault where he throws a tsukahara, which is a round off onto the horse, and then does a flip out of that. Then he also took first on floor." 

Stone scored an 11.5 on vault, and a 12.4 on floor. He described his floor routine.

"My three passes were a front full, my Arabian, and then my final pass, my round-off, back-hand, layout," says Stone.

Stone is a senior in the gymnastics program. He started three years ago after wanting to challenge himself more in athletics.

"I used to do cross country before I started doing gymnastics as a secondary student," says Stone, "When I was doing cross country I just felt like it just wasn't enough for me. I felt that gymnastics would challenge me a little bit more."

After three years of competing, Stone is now a level eight gymnast with the program.

Velazquez says some of the skills at level eight are becoming more difficult, and more dangerous.

"So you really have to be clean, precise, and for Michael he only came in three years ago and said hey I’m going to do gymnastics again, and was able to work up to a level eight skill which is awesome," says Velazquez.

It means a lot. It was a huge accomplishment for me
Stone assisting another gymnast during vault training. (Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

Stone’s skills don’t stop at being a great gymnast. Velazquez says he is also a huge help around the gym, and role model to the younger students.

"Gets along with all the kids great, he knows basically every kid in the gym, skill wise he knows a lot. He knows how to help the kids, he knows how to relate to the kids," says Velazquez.

"I see myself simply as a role model, and nothing more," says Stone, "I think I’ll end up coaching them pretty soon one day. I’ll become more of a mentor to them."

Stone says it was a huge accomplishment for him to win a championship, and it was a great feeling.

If you know a student like Michael, nominate them below as WJON's All-Star Student.
It can be any student, in any grade, participating in any activity.

Next week we'll tell you about another North Crest Gymnastics Champion, Ethan Gonzalez.

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