Fifth-grade gymnast Ethan Nestor of Cape Elizabeth has been scoring big in all of his team’s gymnastic events this year.

On March 2, at the state Gymnastics Competition in Bath, Nestor’s Gymnation team competed against five other Maine teams in the Level 4 and 5 divisions. At the end of the day, Ethan took home two first place and two second place medals, and was awarded second place for best all around score in the Level 5 division. His overall score was 53.83 out of a possible 60 points.

Nestor, 11, topped his own best overall scores from a previous meet by nearly four points. He will be one of three Level 5 Maine gymnasts to go on to the regional tournament in Wilmington Mass. on April 12-13. There, the Maine team will compete with Level 5 boys from all the New England states.

“Ethan had the meet of his life on Sunday,” Nestor’s coach Steve Randall said. “He missed placing first for overall score by just two-tenths of a point. He’ll face tougher competition in the regional event next month, but he’s got good form, good body position. He’s very agile and a good tumbler, which is the key to success as a gymnast.”

In the four previous tournaments of the 2007-2008 season, Nestor placed first or second place in all six events. The tournaments involved proficiency on the still rings, parallel bars, high bar, pommel horse, vault, and floor exercise.

His favorite event is the floor exercise, which is a combination of gymnastics involving running, back-flips, front-flips, hand-stands, and other moves combining balance, strength, speed, and always, good form.

Nestor became interested in gymnastics at age 7 while learning to jump on a trampoline in his back yard. “I learned to do a front-flip when I was 7, then a back-flip when I was 8,” Nestor recalls. “I really like flipping 360s and 720s and doing double-back flips. It’s fun being able to do a bunch of flips and twists that most people can’t do, and its fun to be really flexible ‘cuz it helps you in every sport to be more agile.”

Nestor added he hopes to continue to compete, and he has his eyes set on the highest level. “I hope to go to the Olympics in 2016, or maybe 2012, when I’m 15,” he said.

Ethan Nestor of Cape Elizabeth (center) took two first and two second place medals at the state gymnastics championship in Bath on Sunday, March 2.

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