Amazing performance: Vicksburg gymnast earns trip to regional meet in South Carolina

Published 7:49 pm Friday, March 31, 2017

Taylor Stamps became only the second gymnast in the 15-year history of Gymsouth to qualify for the regional meet with a fifth place finish in her division at the Mississippi state meet.

Stamps, the daughter of Francis and Derrick Stamps, competes in the XCEL bronze division. She finished with an all-around score of 37.975 to qualify for the region 8 meet.

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“She did amazing,” Gymsouth owner Kayla Stuckey said. “She did better at the state meet under pressure then the other meets this year. We were proud of everything that she did that weekend.”

Stamps won the vault competition at her level with a score of 9.475. She finished second in the bars with a score of 9.525, second in the beam with a score of 9.4 and sixth in floor with a score of 9.575. She finished fifth overall.

The top six gymnasts from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee will compete in the region meet for a chance to qualify for nationals.

This season was Stamps’ first time taking part in competitive gymnastics. She came to the sport with a background in cheerleading and quickly picked up the skills necessary to be competitive in gymnastics, and trains for three and a half hours, four days a week to hone her skills.

“She came into the gym already having tumbling skills from cheerleading,” Stamps’ coach Jessica Stanchek said. “She is very strong and it doesn’t take her long to learn new skills. She is very powerful.”

As her first season in gymnastics nears its end, the plan is for Stamps to move to a higher division next year. Stuckey said Stumps will move to either the XCEL Silver division or move into Level 3. The move out of the XCEL program into the compulsory levels program will enable Stamps to pursue gymnastics in college in the coming years.

“You can tell when a child is meant to do gymnastics and she has the talent for it,” Stuckey said.

The Region 8 meet will be held May 11-14 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.