Today, Sunday (02/15/09) was the third competition, KC’s Sweetheart Spectacular, attended by the Level 3 team from 5-Star Gymnastics this season. The meet was held in Danville, KY at KC’s Gymnastics. Given the early start time for the level 3 team of 7:45, we drove down on Saturday evening and stay in a hotel close to the location.
During the early morning preparation prior to the competition, Natalie set a goal for herself. She wanted to score a least a 9 on every event. Shelley and I both told her to do her best and worry about just focusing on each routine and not the score.
The team started out on floor exercise, Natalie went last in the rotation. She had a very nice routine with only a few minor errors. She scored a 9.1 – she was smiling from ear to ear.
The next event was the vault. Natalie was placed in the middle of the rotation. Her first vault was very clean with good height and a stuck landing. The next vault was not a clean and the landing had a considerable step. The better of the two runs earned her a 9.3 (her highest event score this season). So far 2 for 2, now on to the dreaded uneven bars.
The last competition showed how unforgiving the bars can be with an average team score of 7.6 out of 10. Falls and lack of concentration plagued the whole team. Natalie went in the middle of the rotation and delivered the best bar routine that I have seen her perform. She got a 9.4 (now her highest score of season). The bars will not beat the 5 Star team today. They averaged an 8.8.
On to the final event, balance beam. Natalie was again last in the rotation. The team proceeded to move throughout the rotation, but this event was producing lower scores. It appears this judge is being more critical or the girls are just running out of gas. Prior to Natalie’s start, Shelley had to change locations within the crowd in order to relieve her anxiety and to put some distance between her and Natalie’s distracted eyes. As Natalie approached the beam, nobody had scored above an 8.7. Yikes! This does not bode well for maintaining the run of 9s today. She started with a slight bobble on the mount and my heart sank. She recovered and proceeded on through the routine. It was without major issue, but as she ended, Shelley and I looked at each other in agreement…not a 9. However, we were surprised to see that the judge disagreed with our sub 9 assessment. Natalie scored a 9.0. She could hardly contain herself. She was jumping and smiling in amazement.
On to the awards ceremony. Natalie and her best friend Brooklyn are both classified in the 8 JR age group. There were only 5 girls competing in this specific age category. Natalie placed 2nd in every event with Brooklyn taking 1st in the uneven bars. After the individual events were awarded, the all around was next. The announcer proceeded to call out the names for the 5 positions. Brooklyn placed 3rd and Natalie was visibly excited for her best friend’s win. Then we all held our breath as the 2nd position was called…it was not Natalie. As she realized that her name was not called for 2nd place, she placed her hands over her mouth in order to cover the gasp. She was beaming!
The rest of the awards were handed out for the 8Sr, 9, and 10-13. Then the team awards. The 5 Star team placed 3rd with a 109.7. The 2nd place team scored a 110.1 and the 1st place team scored a 110.2. Very close among the top three team. Here is a recap of the scores of the entire level 3 5-Star team.