New heights

Games bringing out the best in athletes
Monday, July 26, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:16 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Jackie Brunholtz is starting her comeback.

Brunholtz, 20, was one of 64 competitors in her division of the Show-Me-State Games’ gymnastics competition Sunday at Flipz USA. It was her first meet in six years.

“Both of my parents aren’t sure about me doing it again just because I’ve had so many bad injuries in the past,” Brunholtz said.

When she was 14, Brunholtz competed in track and field at Hallsville High and broke her left ankle doing the hurdles. The injury caused her to leave gymnastics after 11 years, and she didn’t expect to return. The idea of teaching gymnastics brought her back into the sport, though.

“I’ve been coaching (at Flipz USA) for about a year and a half,” Brunholtz said. “I just started working out again about two months ago. ”

Brunholtz helps coach 6- to 13-year-old girls. Sunday she competed alongside them and said it changed the feel of the meet for her.

“It’s fun because it motivates me to do better because I know that they are watching,” Brunholtz said. “I know that they would want me to do well, so they have a reason to do well also. They push me in the right direction.”

It was Brunholtz’s first time competing at the Games.

“I wanted to do it when I was a kid, but I was always on vacation,” Brunholtz said. “I like them. They’re fun and a lot more relaxed than most other meets. So, I’m enjoying it a lot more.”

Many things have changed for Brunholtz.

As a young gymnast, her favorite event was the uneven bars., but her preference changed with her age and body shape.

“Now, it would probably be the floor,” Brunholtz said. “I’m a little more coordinated than I used to be, and I can do a lot more tumbling.”

The floor routine offers more experienced gymnasts the opportunity to express themselves, too.

“(We) get to pick our own music and we can pick them from other people,” Brunholtz said. “I picked mine from Adrianne Perry, a really good gymnast from Gage in St. Louis.”

Brunholtz, who attends Moberly Community College where she is majoring in nursing, said she plans to continue in gymnastics.

“I am doing the competition season in November with the team,” she said. “Hopefully, maybe, I’ll get to walk-on to a college gymnastics somewhere.”

— Sonya Grogg


The Lake of the Ozark Eagles and Columbia Titans played before an excited and vocal crowd in the Games’ under 12 soccer competition at Cosmopolitan Park.

As a large group of Eagles fans shook green pompoms and performed cheers, Cindy Garrett was there to watch her 11-year-old son, Cameron Phillips.

The Titans, who lost their first two games, trailed 1-0 at halftime and lost to the Eagles, 3-0.

The Titans, a Columbia boys and girls team, play in the Central Missouri League and start their regular season August 22. Garrett said the Eagles were tough competition, but the game was just practice for the fall season.

“We have some new kids that have joined the team,” Garrett said. “So this is really a kickoff for us.”

Titans coach Rick Enyard said he isn’t concerned with winning.

“This was actually a tune-up going into the fall season so we were moving a lot of guys around,” Enyard said. “We were trying out

Please see Games, page 4B

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