• Dan Russoman

Flyers take first at Regionals


Flyers Diamond team, Lia Perone, Sophia Penza, Kayleigh Wilson, Colleen Reitmeyer, Elissa Perna and Emma Angelone, celebrate their win. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

LAKE HARMONY, Pa.—Memorial Day weekend was certainly memorable for Flyers gymnastics of Hammonton. Local gymnasts brought home a record breaking 28 gold medals, including six all-around champions, at the USAIGC Regionals Championships 2021.


Flyers 20-member team representing five levels/divisions of competition, performed routines on the Olympic apparatus of vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. All-around titles are determined by the highest combinations of all four events combined. Team titles are comprised of the top three scores of each apparatus with the members on the same division.

Flyers won first place Silver Division, the fifth highest level of eight, with a season high score of 111.45. With athletes in four different age groups, Flyers dominated the medal count. Tatiana Blough, 12, led the Flyers in gold medals, winning on bars (9.4), beam (9.55), vault (9.65) and all-around (37.9), the highest individual apparatus and all-around score of the meet.


Event specialist, Emma Angelone, 13, won beam (9.1). Kylie Amelung, 14, was golden on vault (9.5), beam (9.15), floor (9.4), and all-around (36.8). Nina Scaffidi, 10, took gold on vault (9.3), floor (9.4) and all-around (36.0). Scaffidi also leveled up to the next division on floor exercise and won another gold medal, scoring a 9.1.


Diamond division was won by Flyers with a 110.45, just .35 ahead of second place team from New York. Emma Angelone, 13, had a career high all-around, winning with a 37.2, and gold on floor (9.4). Elissa Perna, 13, won beam with a (9.5). Colleen Reitmeyer, 14, was an all-around champion (35.7), won gold on beam (9.05) and won her first uneven bar gold medal (8.9). Kayleigh Wilson, 17, won a gold medal on floor 9.4. Lia Perone, 13, and Sophia Penza, 14, assisted this first place team by bringing home bronze medals on vault and bars.


Flyers’ youngest athletes in the Copper Division won third place as a team with a score of 107.3. Rhylyn Tower, 6, all-round champion (35.85), won gold on vault (9.0) and beam (8.8). Lexi Esposito, 7, won her first gold uneven bar medal with an 8.9. Amya Ortiz, 8, won gold on floor (9.05). Nola Scaffidi, 8, was golden on vault with a 9.3, giving Flyers Coppers their highest individual event score of the meet.


The championships were held at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony PA. Hosted by Flyers, a venue change was made in late April when New Jersey restrictions prohibited out of state youth athletics from participation in New Jersey. This ban was not lifted until May 26. USAIGC Regional Championships had been held at the Wildwood Convention Center since 2005.


USAIGC Regional Director Chris Deskovic, along with Flyers Coaches Karen Collinsworth, Chrissy Deskovic, Cailey Kelly, and Beth Amilcare, did not want to disappoint their athletes and other gymnasts from New Jersey., Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and Virginia with another canceled year of their sport. Thanks to their efforts and a partnership with Split Rock Resort by Bellaire, the Regional Championships was held in grand fashion at the resorts Keystone Ballroom with family and friends cheering on the amazing gymnasts.