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Stearn performs well at Olympic training center

(Nov. 28, 2014) Finley Stearn gets up. He gets dressed. He goes to Berlin Intermediate School every day. He goes to Twisters Gymnastics until 8 p.m. every weeknight and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. And, he gets straight As.

The young gymnast is just 10 years old. He began practicing gymnastics when he was 3.

“My first year wasn’t fun, but my second year, when I started winning everything, that was fun,” Stearn said.

He recently competed at the United States Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he placed 12th out of 80 gymnasts. Finishing so strongly qualified him for a spot on the U.S. Junior National Developmental Gymnastics team.

This was his second appearance, but the first for his home gym, Twisters Gymnastics in Berlin.

His coach, Fran Fennell, had one previous student, Cade Solito, advance this far. She has been coaching girls’ gymnastics for 25 years, and boys’ for 15.

“He’s always won whatever level he was in. He was level seven last year and did so well they let him in to level eight,” she said.

Only three athletes Stearn’s age were invited to participate in level eight gymnastics.

“He’s a good all-around gymnast. He’s an aggressive competitor, likes to win and works hard. He’s not better in one event than another,” she said.

Which isn’t to say he doesn’t have his own opinions on the matter.

“Parallel bars are my favorite. I don’t like pommel because it’s the hardest,” Stearn said.

The fifth-grader is all about learning, dedication and poise.

“I like learning new things, because learning things is fun,” he said, before bounding off for more practice.

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