A State Champion among us!

My lastest blog entry is dedicated to my beautiful daughter Katherine. I am so proud of what she accompolished winning gymnastics State All Around Champion title I want to share her story.

Soaking it all in from the top of podium.


Last fall she made the brave decision to switch from Junior Olympic (compolsury) to Xcel (optional) level with a new coach and teammates, same gym. As she entered 8th grade the training schedule of 4 hr practices on school days was difficult to combine with the homework load of a prep school. Xcel would have her training M/F 430-730 and Sat 8-12. She had to miss out on lots of social opportunites/events this year but was very dedicated to her gymnastics.

Her competition season started in January and she qualified to compete at the state meet which was held April 5. This season she has had success and some frustration on the beam. She has placed on several events and placed anywhere from last in all around score or as high as maybe 7th.  She had not stuck a beam routine this spring. Her main goal at state was to STAY ON THE BEAM. I had been sharing quotes from my favorite book “Mind Gym” all week. I wrote her good luck card the night before emphasizing “trust your stuff”, and all your hard work, sweat, blood, tears, physical therapy, etc, has sculpted you into the gymnast you are today.

The morning of the meet she was cool as a cucumber, I was hiding my nervous energy. I had received word from another parent that judges were a bit tough. To be expected, it is the state meet after all. She warmed up on bars first, I saw her fall during a squat on jump to high bar. She was rubbing her neck a bit and looked to have some tears in her eyes. Oh yikes not the way to start the day!!!! The first few gymnasts competed on bars with scores in the mid 7’s, yikes tough scores. I was holding my breath for Katherine and finally let it out when she successfully made her jump to high bar without falling. She had a solid routine and nearly stuck the dismount, 8.85, Not her best bars score but we will take it!

See the bars routine here http://youtu.be/0HVV27COKdE

warming up on bars

warming up on bars

coaches setting the bars for Katherine, at 5"6 1/2 she needs them really high!

coaches setting the bars for Katherine, at 5″6 1/2 she needs them really high!

Next it was on to beam, there was some falling during the warm-up. Luckily Katherine usually has the attitude “well got my falls over with”. My hands were literally shaking holding the camera. Any parent of a gymnast can understand, it is nerve wracking when your daughter is competing on beam!!! I competed gymnastics for many years and was very unsuccessfull on the beam! I recall watching the last Olympics and broadcaster said “Every gymnast upon retirement should be let alone with a beam and a chainsaw”, I could not agree more.  Katherine performed one skill after another her smile getting bigger and bigger during the routine. She had a few small bobbles but stayed on the beam!!! She was jumping for joy afterwards, scoring a 9.0.

See the beam routine here http://youtu.be/0HVV27COKdE

Katherine getting last minute advice from Coach Melissa

Katherine getting last minute advice from Coach Melissa


I think she floated her way over to the floor routine next. She really has loved having her own choreography and music selection this year. She picked a theme song from “Catching Fire”. We recognized one of the judges on the floor, she is tough to impress. Katherine was beautiful on floor, graceful, powerful, strong and elegant. She nailed her front tuck with a big smile right in front of the judges table. It was awesome. score 9.25

See the floor routine here http://youtu.be/thKxFlC-YBs

One of her goals this season was to score 36 all around she has had 35.975. Kevin calculated she needed a 8.9 on vault. ok doable but you never know. She changed her vault about a month ago and it is working nicely for her. I was watching her teammate go and the score board was really far away and hard to read. I was having trouble with 8.000 or 8.8000. I had not seen a 9 on the scoreboard yet. Katherine had a great run and awesome vault with lots of power she took one small step. My eyes were straining to see the scoreboard, 9.0. Yippee she did it she met her goal.

Throughout the meet I was catching a few scores of other gymnasts but not too much. I figured she would place a couple events but not sure where she would be for all-around. When they were announcing vault results and calling girls to podium “in 1st place with 9.0 Katherine Camberg” (she did tie with another gymnast). She was shocked, she has never placed 1st at a meet before on anything. She stood on the podium in awe with the biggest smile. She got medals for every single event so we figured we knew she would podium for all-around. I had not really done the math at all so was thinking maybe 4th? As they were calling the names you could see her excitement building. “State Champion for All-Around Katherine Camberg”, she let out a yelp and climbed atop the podium to accept her medal beaming with pride and shock. Once the ceremony was over I was trying to work my way through the throngs of gymnasts to congratulate her, she took off to find her coach. Coach Melissa was out on the floor preparing the next group for competition. Never in her wildest dreams did Katherine think she would win state, we are so proud of her.

Katherine and her teammates all won state titles for their age group.

Katherine and her teammates all won state titles for their age group.

Some of her teammates they placed 1st in state.

Some of her teammates they placed 1st in state.

I am so proud of Katherine for all her hardwork and dedication. The lessons she has learned in gymnastics will serve her for a lifetime. Her team won 1st and had 2 girls make the State Team. The girls will head to Regional Gymnastics meet at the end of April.


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