Second weekend of meet season, second meet of the season.

Em was on home turf this time – she’s gone to this meet every season since she became a competitive gymnast.

I’ve always thought this meet venue had good lighting… maybe she did slower moves back in the day… I was surprised that so many photos were blurry. Way better than last meet, though.

This meet they started on bars. I did not get very many non-blurry photos. I made a short video with my photos of her going from the low bar to the high bar. I am fascinated with these gymnasts standing on that little bar and then leaping over to the bar above their head.

GSIBars from Meg White on Vimeo.

I got good photos of her cast and her giant but that’s about it. She didn’t step on her dismount (like she did last meet) but she touched her feet on the floor after her pirouette (which she didn’t do last meet). She pulled off an 8.875.

Then she moved onto beam. Anything would be better than last meet, right. Well, she killed it, except for a fall on her turn, but she still managed to score an 8.4, 8’s are great scores for her on beam. And she pulled off her series so I made a video out of it.

GSIBeam from Meg White on Vimeo.

I also got some beautiful stills, beam is easiest for photography. Not easy, just easiest of the four.

Here’s her mount and first pose (in handstand).

Then I got a nice picture of her full turn, before she fell.

Here’s some stills of that series.

Then, some shots of her 180 leap-turn – this time that’s the only leap I got photos of. Oh, and a very blurry photo of her back tuck dismount. I forgot she did a back handspring, back tuck. I thought she was going to do a round off so I had her lined up on the right side of my view finder ready for her to go forward. She went backward and promptly went out of my camera view. I caught up just in time for the tuck.

Next is floor. I actually managed to keep up with her for her whole first tumbling pass, which she nailed, and it was the one-and-a-half twist, not just a full twist.

GSIFloor from Meg White on Vimeo.

As she was getting ready for floor, she was pretty much right below me with her back to me. She even has super-ripped back muscles. I had to take a photo, here it is with some photos of her first dance moves; including an arabesque on-pointe… without the ballet pointe shoes.

Then some stills from that fabulous first tumbling pass.

Some more dance work.

I managed to keep her leap pass in view… but all the shots were blurry, but I got a good shot of her full turn on the floor. Okay, it’s blurry, too. I think it is because she’s moving faster than when she was a level 4.

Then her final tumbling pass and her final pose. I was aimed at the far corner but it ends up she was off the diagonal a bit so I caught up to her mid-half whip. It’s all blurry anyways… she’s just going way too fast these days.


She told us that morning, before competing, that she was hoping for at least one 9… she got it on floor. A 9.2 for this routine, we could see she was happy with that… she was smiling on her way to her last event – vault.

She only did one vault (it’s a new thing for level 8, if the gymnast takes a second vault, that’s the score that used, even if it is worse) but we were sitting so beautifully close to the vault, I got really good shots.

GSIVault from Meg White on Vimeo.

No, she didn’t stick the landing… but she did her Yurchenko (roundoff-back handspring entry into the vault) which she didn’t do at the last meet. She did land on her feet, but really low and she put her hands down (she says it’s a bad habit of hers) so my shot shows her just as she’s dropping to her hands and knees.

We watched as she and her coach discussed (presumably) whether she should do a second vault. They both moved over to the judges table and I thought, “Oh good, at least they are willing to tell her what that first vault was worth.” She then spun back to look at her coach with a big grin on her face, nodded, and skipped (yes, skipped) back to the top of the vault run.

As she was skipping back to her teammates, I said to my mom, “I don’t think she’s going to do a second vault.”

My mom replied, “Yes, I think she’s pretty happy with the score, she can’t even walk.”

So we waited and waited to see the score for ourselves an 8.35. She told us later that she had decided that if she got at least an 8 on the Yurchenko she would not do another vault, goal met and exceeded.

The stills:

This meet does not give individual event medals, they give a beautiful plaque and little stickers for the gymnast to place on the plaque with their placement for each event so it is truly a keepsake.

When we got over to the awards section, they were still handing out awards for the boys session had run concurrently with her session and had ended right before hers. At first, I didn’t pay much attention. But I started noticing that the announcer seemed to randomly tell scores of individual events when she called people up. After paying attention to a few age groups (okay, not that close of attention, I was tired and I keep getting distracted), I realized that she would announce if a gymnast got 1st place on an event as she called them up for their all-around place.

Finally it was Em’s age group. Since this meet was in the hockey stadium, there were really nice displays everywhere so we already knew she was getting 5th all-around  (out of 9 gymnasts in her age group) with a 34.825 (almost 2 whole points higher than last meet). As she was called up, the announcer said, “[Emee] got,” and in that fraction of a second I grabbed my mom’s arm.

“She got first place in something,” I whispered.

The announcer continued, “first place on floor with a 9.2.”

I’ll say the first place on floor distracted me, and (as I said before) I was tired. But suddenly the announcer was saying, “And, salute.” I just missed getting a photo of her salute, she was already taking her arms down. Oops

We cheered while she was on the podium, and when the awards were over we congratulated her, but we had to wait until we were at lunch to take a look at her score card and awards card.

So, out of 9 girls, she got 4th on vault, 6th on bars, 8th on beam, 1st on floor, and 5th all-around. She was much happier with this meet.

That night BSU took on BYU in the same venue so the girls got in free, Em watched those girls do things she’s doing. Yes, some of them did way harder stuff, but some were doing stuff she and her teammates are already doing. I think it put college gymnastics a little more into perspective for her.

And now that you’ve read my post on the Gem State Invitational, you may want to read the BroncoSports post


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