The 17th Annual Derby Classic


Sunday (03/15/09) was the forth competition, Champion’s 17th Annual Derby Classic, attended by the Level 3 team from 5-Star Gymnastics this season. The meet was held in Louisville, KY at the MidAmerican Sports Complex and hosted by Champion Gymnastics. Today we were lucky to have a mid-day start. The level 3 team didn’t need to be at the gym until 12:30. We were able to make the 2 hour trek the morning of the competition. We were lucky to have Nagi in town so that she may take part in the activities. 

Again, Natalie set a goal for herself prior to the start of the meet. She wanted to score a least a 9 on every event.

This meet started out with the balance beam. Natalie anchored the routine and had a very solid performance. She completed the routine within the event time and without significant balance checks. She posted a 9.35 which was the second highest score for the team on this event.

The team moved on to floor exercise, Natalie went in the last half of the event rotation. She had an average routine without any major errors. She scored a 9.1 and left the floor smiling. 

The next event was the vault. Natalie was placed in the middle of the rotation. Here first vault didn’t appear to get the best height or distance, but the landing was solid. The second vault showed better form but had a small step on the landing. She squeaked out a 9.05…so far 3 for 3, now on to the dreaded uneven bars.

This event has consistently been the toughest and most prone to major mistakes. The bars would not test the 5 Star team today. Only a few mistakes were committed with Brooklyn taking the top position in the event with a 9.3. Natalie scored a solid 9.1. 

On to the awards ceremony. Natalie and Brooklyn are both classified in the 8 JR age group. There were 11 girls competing in their specific age category. Given the size of this competition, the awards given were to be issued to only the top 50% (+1) of each age group. For the 8 JR group that would be the top 6 places in each event would be given recognition. This is a significant change from the 3 previous competitions and would be quickly noticed by the 5 Star team as the award ceremony started. It was clear by the facial expressions that the girls were clearly confused that everyone did not get an award. Welcomed  to the big time ladies!

Natalie placed 2nd in the beam and 4th in the bars. Brooklyn scored a 1st in bars and 5 in beam. Natalie’s consistency across all 4 events afforded her a 5th place all-around in what appeared to be one of the toughest age groups. In a continuing moment of misunderstanding, Natalie was visibly upset (crying on the podium) due to the lack of awards for her and the team. See the picture below for a “upset face” that was a product of this building frustration. Shelley and I were quick to explain the situation regarding the scoring/awards system for this large competition. This will be a lesson for the future.

Then the team awards. The top three gyms were awarded team trophies. Legacy placed 1st with a 113.8, Champion placed 2nd with a 112.75, Todds scored 111.45 and landed them in 3rd. The 5 Star team placed 4th with a 110.7. Overall, a great showing for the 5 Star team and should be a good motivator for the last push to the state tournament in April. 

Here is a recap of the scores of the entire level 3 5-Star team.


You can find videos of each of Natalie’s events:  balance beam, floor exercise, vault, and bars.

Natalie leading the streching at the 2009 Derby ClassicNatalie leading the streching at the 2009 Derby Classic
Natalie practicing before the floor routine.Natalie practicing before the floor routine.
Brooklyn's got some hops!Brooklyn’s got some hops!
Natalie and the team wait their turn.Natalie and the team wait their turn.
Natalie and Shelley...quite the cuties!Natalie and Shelley…quite the cuties!
Nagi and Natalie smile for the cameraNagi and Natalie smile for the camera
Natalie's upset face.Natalie’s upset face.
Natalie displays her awards from the Derby Classic - Louisville, KYNatalie displays her awards from the Derby Classic – Louisville, KY