Henry Mayo Fitness and Health unveil new facility

Attendees cheer their teams as Tyra Boozer, left, from Hart High School and Aubrey McKessy form Canyon High cross paths as they push a sleds carrying 70 pounds of weight while they compete at the grand opening event for the Performance Institute at the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center in Valencia on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Henry Mayo Fitness and Health celebrated the grand opening of its new facility Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the first-ever Santa Clarita Valley Battle of the Fittest High School Competition. 

After over a year of construction, The Performance Institute was opened for the youth and adult population in Santa Clarita. The Performance Institute focuses on two distinct areas — sports performance and a pilates studio, which is intended to help athletes with low-impact activities.

Trainer Russell Gage, left, and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Vice President, Jonathan Miller take down the times of local high schools during the grand opening event for the Performance Institute at the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center in Valencia on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

“The program for younger individuals is more about movement and how to prevent injury,” said Bill Holstein, general manager of Henry Mayo Fitness and Health. “We offer coaching from college degree strength, certified conditioning and Olympic lifting coaches to teach the proper techniques to do this safely.” 

Inside the facility, they offer state of the art equipment such as sleds that can be pushed and TRX inverted rows. Most of the equipment was used in the Battle of the Fittest High School Competition that took place near the end of the event. 

Carley Hoffmann from Valencia High School pushes a sled carrying 70 pounds of weight as she competes at the grand opening event for the Performance Institute at the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center in Valencia on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Canyon, Saugus, West Ranch, Valencia, Castaic and Hart high schools all had two athletes compete in an obstacle course. The obstacle course included four types of challenges: jumping; lifting; pulling; and pushing. The team with the best time overall received $500 toward their school’s athletic program. 

As each team competed, the competitors were met with support on the sidelines, as they pushed around a 70-pound shed, which was the make-or-break challenge for several of the teams. For the Canyon vs. Hart round, there was only a mere second that separated the two teams. 

Ultimately, the West Ranch team of Reagan Nibarger and Trey Topping won with a time of 4 minutes, 26 seconds. 

Trainer Russell Gage looks on as West Ranch High School’s Regan Nibarger does 30 reps on the trapbar deadlift as hse competes with local high schools during the grand opening event for the Performance Institute at the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center in Valencia on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

“The sleds at the end were definitely harder than I imagined, because by the time I reached that obstacle I thought, ‘Oh boy,’ but in the end, I’m happy we had the winning time,” said Nibarger. Throughout the competition, the team continuously supported one another as they radiate positive energy.

“I thought Reagan did an outstanding job,” said Topping, “and watching her do it really fired me up to keep going.”

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