The Classic Rock Invitational was down in Phoenix, AZ. I was excited to get out of the cold, cold winter of Boise, ID, but then I got sick… I think it may have even been the flu because I think I was a bit feverish the whole time we were down there; it made the weekend a bit surreal.

Because I was sick, I didn’t really take very many photos… I was distracted and a bit unmotivated (okay, exhausted), but the photo I did take were beautiful – the lighting in that convention center was AWESOME.

Em wasn’t sick, yet, thank goodness. She did really well, and she was happily surprised by her scores and her placements because it was such a competitive meet.

For the opening salute to announce all the teams, they were lined up in order of height with their backs to us at their first event – beam. I noticed last meet that they no longer line up by age… she and her classmate, both 13, have passed up the 16 year old… so the youngest in the group are the shortest, then the 16 year old, then Em and H. But this time, with them lined up right by us, I got a really cute picture, I think. In my opinion, it will make a great addition to her memories book for this season.

So she started on beam… and we were SO CLOSE to the beam… I didn’t like it. Her wrist braces make a distinct whooshing noise when she does her back handspring and I made me nervous. But she did not fall on her back handspring… she only fell on her 3/4 turn jump. :(

She held onto an 8.050, it’s makes us feel better when she stays above an 8 on beam. But no medal.

Then floor. I was running the iPad on video and trying to take some cool shots of her tumbling, and I was sick, but even so I could physically feel how beautiful her routine was. Even looking at it on two small screens and only glancing out at her ever few seconds, or so, I could feel her grace and strength lifting my heart and just making me feel lucky to see something to beautiful. The judges said it was worth a 9.4! (They felt it, too.) That got her a 5th place medal (told you it was a competitive meet).

Then vault. My mom and I decided to sit on the side of the vault run, about mid-way between where she starts and the actual vault. Then I decided I didn’t want to try to swing the camera almost 180 degrees to track her from start to finish so I started filming and photographing mid-run. I got one really good photo… only one but it is really good. But my video is really short and both runs look so identical that it sort of messed with my head when I combined the video into one shot… so I left it as two videos.

I thought the vaults looked decent, but she is still taking a step on her landings so we were all surprised when she scored a 9.225. We were even more surprised to find out that put her in FIRST PLACE! Woohoo!

I have said for years that I have no idea what the judges are looking for on vault. I am still clueless on vault… I just be happy she got a first place finish at such a huge, competitive meet.

Finally, bars. She tripped over a wrinkle in the mat on her landing (so she says) but she still pulled off a 9.125. That kind of score on bars usually places in the top three – she got 5th… but at least she still got a medal, so that’s cool.

She finished just shy of all gymnasts’ perpetual meet goal of a 36 all-around – she scored a 35.800. Still, it got her another medal. She got 4 out of 5 possible medals, another measure of a very good meet.

Here are the medal ceremony photos:

I just hope we’re healthy if we get to go to this meet again next year. I want to take better advantage of the meet venue lighting and of the warmer weather than I managed to do this year.

I’ve rearranged my site to focus on the photos and videos a little bit more. I have some “projects” set up to group the photos together by event. Here’s the links to the video projects, the projects are tagged in different groups so you can explore other the projects, too.

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