Gymnast places fourth at state competition
December 13, 2001
By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
In her first return to competition since taking a year off, freshman Leah Lambrect placed fourth Saturday at the state gymnastics competition in Denver.
Lambrect had fallen out of gymnastics for nearly a year, then returned to the competitive side of the sport a year ago with Gym Gem Gymnastics. Since that time, she has competed in three regular season competitions and gained her berth to the state competition.
Just returning to gymnastics had Lambrect feeling as if she wouldn’t place when she reached state, but there was no doubt in her coach’s mind as to how she’d do.
“Leah has had a great year,” coach Creasa Grammar said. “She’s gained a lot of consistency over the year, and in the end her consistency is what helped her place so high. She was a little nervous heading into the competition, but I knew she could hang with her competition”
The judges were Lambrect’s biggest source of nervousness, she said. In typical competition she would have to compete in front of two judges, at state a total of four judges reviewed the routines.
“That probably became the biggest thing I got nerves from,” Lambrect said. “I was used to seeing four of them sitting there, so it kind of made me nervous.”
Able to shake her nerves, Lambrect competed through four events. In her four events, vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise, Lambrect never scored lower than 8.2 out of 10 points.
Being able to score in such consistent fashion is not common in gymnastics, Grammar said. In fact, only the top five girls in the competition were able to do so.
“Really, if you look at the scores right after Leah, all the scores start to become inconsistent,” she said. “So, really she was competing with the top third of the competition.”
The top third of the competition is rumored to be moving up to the next level in competitive gymnastics level seven.
Although Lambrect is eligible to move up to level seven this year, she will put it off for another year. Competition for level seven gymnasts begins in February, which is not enough down time for Lambrect, she said.
“I’ve heard from most other coaches that it’s a good idea to give the kids a year off before letting them jump up to level seven,” Grammar said. ” Really because it’s a pretty big jump for the girls to make.”