NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

March 15, 2013

'Feel like you're flying'

Pentucket freshman Kutcher earns gold medal at gymnastics invitational

WEST NEWBURY — Pentucket freshman Jackie Kutcher spends an awful lot of time on the bars and in the gym.

A Level 9 gymnast at Gymnastics and More in Woburn, Kutcher had a gold-winning all-around performance competing against over 30 girls in the Little Bigger Invitational Feb. 22 at Winchester High School.

“I just love the feeling of it,” Kutcher says of working the bars. “Like when you get a new skill, it’s a great feeling. You feel like you’re flying.”

Kutcher has been flying since she was 5 years old. Now 14 and standing 5-foot-1, 120 pounds, she was born for gymnastics and harbors Olympic hopes. She tied for sixth on vault with an 8.7 at the Little Bigger, fourth on beam (8.675), first on floor (9.275), first on the bars (8.825) and first in the all-around (35.475).

“I was really happy because it made my confidence go up more,” Kutcher said. “It just kind of encourages me to practice more.”

Kutcher lives for the gym. That flying feeling took over her at 5, and she hasn’t looked back.

“I got it right away,” says Kutcher. “But it also built as I got better.”

She worked at her craft five days a week, four hours a day, for the first nine years and recently amended her training schedule, bumping it up to six days a week. She works with a team of four coaches: Nelu Albu, Dan and Jen Scannel and Briana DiPinto, the latter of whom says she is impressed with Kutcher’s dedication to the sport and claims she is capable of going to Level 10.

“Jackie is an extremely hard worker,” DiPinto said. “She comes in six days a week, which is not something everybody does. She’s incredibly dedicated, and she truly wants to become a better gymnast. She will do whatever you ask her to do.”

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