This was the third weekend in a row for gymnastics meets. Second out of town trip in three weeks. I am impress she did so well. The judges were harsh so her score are very similar to the previous week but she looked so much better out there, and she placed higher all-around (with a lower score) than she did last week. This week highlights all the weird quirks of being a gymnast. I realized early on that gymnastics was teaching these girls to judge themselves based on how they felt they did, not what scores they got or where they placed on the podiums; those are good benchmarks but they are not always the true indicator of how a gymnast performed.

This was a new meet for us. They had umbrellas up all over the convention center and they gave the gymnasts cute leotards that had the Seattle city silhouette in the shape of an umbrella, complete with a little handle… even thought the meet was in Tacoma. Here’s some photo of march-in and the umbrellas. (I remember when Em was embarrassed that she was the shortest because that meant she always led the march-in.)

The girls started on vault. I have decided vault is my least favorite event for them to start on… I get freaked out that she’s going to do that Yurchenko when she still has all of her beginning of the meet nerves and adrenaline.

She had a wild round-off during warm-up where she just “jumped” backwards, split-legged, over the vault and landed on her back on the mats… another parent (a level 10 parent, I feel I should add) asked if I got photos.

“NO! I had my eyes closed! I did not take any photos.”

Later she said it’s kind of fun to go flying over the vault like that… Heaven help me.

But here’s her competition vaults. This time she did land right on her knees on her first vault so she did a second (easier) vault and got a 7.9. She was disappointed that her second vault scored so low but, in the end, it still got her on the podium – 5th place. Like I said, scores do not relate to podium placement meet to meet.

Next she went to bars and I had a bunch of people standing in front of me so I could not get a whole lot of good photos. But I saw she did her pirouette with out touching her feet to the floor and she did her double back dismount with only a small step. In fact, I had a different view of the bars than we normally get as an audience and I got a cool view of her dismount. It’s the only skill that I got enough pictures of in a row (without people walking in front of me or her going behind a group of people standing between her and me) so it’s the only skill I made into a video:

CharityBars from Meg White on Vimeo.

She pulled off a 9.15 with this routine, that gave her a 1st place medal for bars. Here’s some more photos of the beautiful routine.

Beam was next, she stayed on the beam for the whole routine and scored lower than the week before. This is what proves that scores also do not related to improved or diminished performance meet-to-meet. No medal, but some nice photos since we were right up front. If she hadn’t wobbled on her series of jumps (one of the areas of deduction, we are all guessing), I would have made a video of it… maybe next time.

Her final event was floor. It was getting towards the end of the meet and some teams were done. I was at the back of the “gym” where the gallery wrapped around the competition area… where some of the girls were hanging out and talking about their performances. It would have been okay if girls weren’t continually leaving and joining the group. So I had to move behind the judges table more than I wanted to… so here’s what I got between all those heads and bodies.

One of the skills I managed to photograph that I hadn’t caught before was her half-whip. Second from the last photo, if you click through slideshow-fashion. I can never seem to keep up with that pass, usually, but this time she was coming toward me so I didn’t have to track her with the camera. She pulled off a 9.125 this time, but that only got her 5th place (a 9.2 got her first at the last meet). I think she was still happy about it.

So have you been doing the math? Did you check her scores from the last post? Have you figured out that she got a 34.175 all-around which is .65 LESS than she got at the last meet and I keep saying she did better? Well, like I said, this meet shows how little scores and such mean. She definitely did better when you look at each skill, she got two nines instead of just one, and she actually ended up placing better in all-around (third place) even though her score was lower. She did better this meet than the previous ones even though it was the third meet in a row and she had to be exhausted. Her smile proves she knows that:

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