Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015
A group of local gymnasts brought home plenty of hardware when they competed in the 2015 Alabama Compulsory State Meet in Tuscaloosa this past weekend.
The girls, all of whom study at Xtreme Athletics in Troy, had to qualify for the meet, which was run by the Alabama USA Gymnastics’ state board of directors. There were more than 900 competitors in the meet, which is for young women competing in levels 1-5 of gymnastics.
The students, who had to qualify for the competition, competed in their skill level, but also with gymnasts their ages.
Mary Margaret Duffy won first all around in division 3L. She also won first in floor competition; second on the beam; and sixth in bars and vault.
Floor competition is definitely her favorite, she said.
“It has more energy,” she explained.
She is the daughter of Kevin and Chrissie Duffy. The nine-year-old is a fourth-grader at Andalusia Elementary.
Katie Kennedy competed in Division 3N where she placed fifth all around; first in floor; second in vault; fifth in beam; and 11th on the parallel bars.
The 10-year-old AES fourth grader said she likes competing on the bars best.
“Because I’m like a monkey,” she said. “I like swinging around on them.”
Katie was a tumbling student who did well and transitioned to gymnastics, her mom said.
“I watched the Olympics a lot,” Katie said. “I thought could do it.”
And, she said, “our family is competitive.”
She is the daughter of Dana and Daks Kennedy.
Chloe Scott likes floor competition the best because of the music, she said. In compulsory competition, every student does the same routine to the same music. Others in the group – especially some brothers who have spent lots of times at meets – say hearing the same music gets old.
“I took a tumbling class,” Chloe said. “The coach thought I was really good and wanted me to be in gymnastics.”
The 9-year-old third grader is home schooled, but likes showing off her gymnastic talents.
“I love it because it makes you scare other people with your flexibility,” she said.
She is the daughter of Marianne and Jeremy Scott.
Hailey Colvin said she likes the parallel bars best.
“That’s my strongest event, the one I’m best at,” she said.
She said she also enjoys learning new skills and impressing people with stunts.
The 12-year-old is a seventh grader at Red Level and the daughter of Amy and Frankie Colvin.
Hailey was seventh overall in Division 3W. She placed third in vault; 8th in beam and floor; and 11th on bars.
Joanna Cleland likes the vault competition best, but said it’s not one you can easily practice at home.
“It’s my best event and it’s fun,” she said.
The 9-year-old is a fourth grader at Andalusia Elementary.
Competing in Division 3I at state, she placed 9th overall; 6th in floor; 10th in beam and vault; and 11th in bars.
She is the daughter of Juanita Gordon and Joey Cleland
Keltsey Griffin also was a tumbling student when her teacher encouraged her to pursue gymnastics. Floor competition is her favorite “because it’s like my best event,” she said.
The 11-year-old is a sixth grader at Straughn Middle School and the daughter of Sylvia and Chad Griffin.
Competing in Division 3U, she placed 2nd all around; 1st in vault; 1st in floor; 2nd in beam and 4th in bars.
The students have classes three times per week, for two and a half hours per day. But for having local classmates and the ability to carpool, there’s no way they could participate at this level, their moms agreed.