GymSouth sharp at meet

Published 12:11 am Sunday, February 7, 2016

The home team did all right in the biggest session of GymSouth’s Mardi Gras Meet.

Kennedy Smith finished first in her age group in the all-around, Alana Austin was second in hers, and GymSouth finished third in the team standings Saturday in the Bronze Level session.

With 53 gymnasts competing, the Bronze Level was the largest of the 11 sessions during the three-day meet. Youth gymnastics meets are organized by skill level, so each session is essentially its own mini-meet. The more advanced gymnasts in the Silver, Level 6, and Platinum divisions will compete today beginning at 8 a.m.

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“Our last session is the upper levels, so that’s some really high-level gymnastics,” said GymSouth owner Cherry Robbins. “It’s really fun to watch that session. The Level 9s and Level 10s are girls that could be on a college team one day.”

The gymnasts in Saturday’s sessions were much closer to a beginner level. Their routines focused more on fundamental movements as they competed in four rotations — vault, balance beam, parallel bars and floor exercise — and were judged on how well they performed each one.

Smith finished first in the “A” age group in the parallel bars and beam, and was third in the floor exercise. She won her group’s all-around title with a composite score of 35.650.

Austin finished first on the beam and floor, but was edged out for the group G all-around title by Baili Taylor of Newton-based Miller’s Gymnastics. Taylor had an all-around score of 36.525, to Austin’s 36.350.

Taylor finished first on the bars.

GymSouth’s team score of 109.925 was third in a competitive six-team race for the first-place trophy. Madison County Gymnastics finished first with a score of 112.175, and Outer Limits Gymnastics from Greenwood was second at 110.700. The sixth-place team, Mante’s Flipz Unlimited, had a team score of 108.750.

Other all-around winners in the Bronze session were Mary Ava Washington of Flipz Unlimited; Ava Murray of the Meridian Tri-Stars; Kathryn Warren of Outer Limits; and Madison Hansbrough of Madison County.

“There’s a lot of good gymnasts here,” Robbins said. “We’ve seen some great routines by these little kids.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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