From staff reports
AMERICUS – Sumter Gymnastics wrapped up a fantastic 2022 competitive season this past weekend. Five gymnasts then traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida on May 21-22 to compete in the AAU Southern Regionals at the Ocean Center. There were gymnasts from 10 states represented at this competition at all levels.
Neal Smith became a regional finalist with a second-place finish on vault with a score of 8.9. She also placed third on floor and bars. In our Silver group, Tori Beckett placed fourth on beam with a score of 9.225 and on vault with a score of 8.9. Hayley Dean placed fourth on bars with a 9.0 and Addy Revell placed sixth on vault with an 8.9.
Chloe Walls was Sumter’s only bronze medalist and she scored a 9.325 on vault to finish in third place.
On the weekend of April 29-30, 11 gymnasts traveled to the Carroll County Recreation Center to compete in the state competition. Mia Hughes became our state bronze champion on balance beam with a score of 9.375. She also finished second in the state on vault with a 9.275 and all around with a score of 36.825. Chloe Walls and Aubree Patterson placed fourth on vault in their age groups with scores of 9.2 and 9.275. These three girls were also the fifth team out of 15 teams.
Our Silver team found Hayley Dean becoming a state runner-up by scoring a 9.0 on balance beam.
Addy Revell placed fifth on vault with an 8.95. Tori Beckett scored a 9.05 on beam for sixth place and Ashley Zwierko also finished sixth with a floor exercise of 8.95. Kylee Saint placed seventh on beam with an 8.975 and Sandra McCook scored a 9.1 on vault for eighth place.
At the Gold level, Kynslee Collins scored a 9.2 on floor exercise for third place and Neal Smith placed seventh on floor with an 8.8.
“I am so proud of these athletes and all of the competitive gymnasts we have at Sumter Gymnastics,” said Melissa Singley, Head Coach of Sumter Gymnastics. “They worked hard all season and I saw huge improvements in their routines and scores. We competed in five competitions before national and regional competitions and several of our gymnasts finished in the top three places in all the competitions State and Regionals are huge competitions with gyms that we don’t see throughout the season and their girls train more hours than us but we are able to definitely hold our own against those Many of these athletes have overcome injuries this season and most, if not all, are on the A or A/B honor roll at their school.
Singley went on to say that the girls show extraordinary dedication throughout the year and she loves coaching them. “I know I’ll be laughing with them every day in the gym and I love watching them grow over the years,” Singley said. “Our competitive season may be over for this year, but we’re all looking forward to summer honing, learning new skills, increasing our strength and flexibility, and starting our season preparation. 2023.”