- December 28, 2022
Making it to a sport's biggest stage is an accomplishment all its own, no matter what happens next.
Siesta Key gymnast Benjamin Aguilar competed at the 2022 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, held Aug. 18-21 at Tampa's Amalie Arena. Aguilar, who trains with the Sarasota and Bradenton-based EVO Athletics gym, earned a berth to the event and finished 12th all-around in the nation in the Junior Men 16 division.
Although he didn't finish on the podium, Aguilar's display of power and grace proved he belongs with the best gymnasts in the nation. Aguilar's finish was second-best out of EVO Athletics' gymnasts in their respective divisions; Alex Karadzhov of St. Petersburg finished ninth all-around in the Junior Men's 17 division.
His best finish in Tampa came in the pommel horse, where he received a 24.900 combined score from the judges, good for sixth. He wowed the crowd with his core strength and dexterity.
Aguilar began his year of competing by finishing first all-around in the Men's 16 division of the 2022 Florida Men's State Championships, held March 4-6 in Alachua. Level 10 is the highest level of the Junior Olympic program overseen by USA Gymnastics. At the state championships, Aguilar finished first in the floor, pommel horse, vault, parallel bars and tied for first in the high bar.