GYMNASTICS

Sumter gymnasts set for regionals

Three girls will represent Sumter in Athens, Georgia, and 1 in Daytona, Florida, with a chance to bring home the gold

TREVOR BAUKNIGHT
trevor@theitem.com
Posted 4/13/18

Four local gymnasts are putting the finishing touches on their routines ahead of regional championship competitions after performing well enough at the state championships to qualify.

Joining the South Carolina contingent at next weekend's Level …

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GYMNASTICS

Sumter gymnasts set for regionals

Three girls will represent Sumter in Athens, Georgia, and 1 in Daytona, Florida, with a chance to bring home the gold

Posted

Four local gymnasts are putting the finishing touches on their routines ahead of regional championship competitions after performing well enough at the state championships to qualify.

Joining the South Carolina contingent at next weekend's Level 6/7/8 regional championships in Athens, Georgia, are Molly Jones, Lori Flemming and Mia Gabriel. Also, Maria Gillen will compete the following weekend at the Xcel Regional Championships in Daytona, Florida.

Gabriel finished first out of 107 Level 6 gymnasts during the recent state championships with a score of 37.975. Flemming was second out of 104 Level 7 gymnasts with a 38.000 and Gillen was fourth in the state among Xcel Platinum gymnasts with a score of 37.000. The top eight gymnasts in each level compete as part of the South Carolina state team at the regionals. Jones finished 12th in Level 6 with a score of 37.175, high enough to go to Athens to compete as an all-star.

"It's a huge deal," said Miss Libby's gymnastics head coach Tiffany Butler. "This is the first year that we've actually got three different levels going. We've had girls go in the past either as all-stars or one level go as a team member, but this is the first year we've had three girls actually competing and representing the state. It's a huge thing for Sumter. It's definitely starting to put gymnastics on the map for us, which is awesome.

"The girls are excited and we're excited as coaches and a little nervous because we're going to be going against some really tough competition," Butler said. "But I'm positive our girls will hold their own with no problem.

"They're pretty good about staying cool, calm and collected," she said. "We see it sometimes when they have little breakdowns when they're not hitting something that day, and we we just have to remind them that they didn't get this far by not knowing what they're doing and what their technique is and their bodies knowing what they're supposed to do. They're a very focused group and very supportive, just a very good group of young ladies."

Butler said that given the nature of the sport, each of the girls representing South Carolina has a shot at winning at a given competition, but that the focus is on making sure they do their best.

"Winning is obviously the ultimate goal, but one thing about gymnastics is that it's kind of whoever performs best that day," Butler said. "It's one of those sports that sometimes even your best isn't good enough. Our goal is for them to do their personal bests and we'll see how we do against the other states. We do hope to bring home the gold, though."