Riley Melton –  Photo by Rick Koeshall

Riley Melton is graduating from gymnastics competitor to coach

On Friday, April 14, 2023, Riley Melton competed in the Level 10 – Region IV gymnastics championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she finished in sixth place on the floor exercise.

USA Gymnastics Region IV is made up of the top state qualifiers in each age division for the four gymnastics events (vault, uneven bars, balance beam & floor exercise) from Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Riley qualified for regionals by finishing in sixth place on the floor exercise at the Missouri State Gymnastics championship, held March 24 at the LINC in Jefferson City.

Riley competed as a level 10 – floor specialist this year. She finished in the top eight at nine of the 10 meets that she competed in this year. Here are her competition results:

  • 1st place – Ozark Mountain Invitational, Springfield, Mo.
  • 4th place – Dream Meet, Tulsa, Okla.
  • 2nd place – River City Classic, Omaha, Neb.
  • 8th place – Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas
  • 11th place – Presidential Classic (ESPN Wide World of Sports), Orlando, Fla.
  • 6th place – Olympia Crown, St Louis, Mo.
  • 2nd place – Missouri Winter Games, Springfield
  • 4th place – March Mania, Parkville, Mo.

This was Riley’s 11th and final season as a competitive gymnast. She has qualified for regionals six times since reaching level 7 in 2016.

Riley has trained with gymnastics coach Paul Comstedt at Helix Athletics in Joplin for the past seven years. She started in gymnastics at the Flip Shop in Joplin when she was 7.  Riley will be coaching gymnastics a level XCEL Bronze 5-9 year-old team and an Olive Group 4-5 year-old team at Helix Athletics beginning this summer.

Riley graduates cum laude with honors from Webb City High School this week. She will be attending Missouri Southern State University this fall where she is majoring in pre-med (biology) and plans on becoming a diagnostic radiologist. She is the daughter of Jill and Don Melton.