Last month at the Tennessee State Championship Gymnastics Competition in Clarksville, TN one little girl, we are pretty proud of, did a great job during her competition session on Friday, March 24th.
Whysper Stephenson, age 7 competing for BAM Gymnastics of Gallatin, TN took the day in stride as she stayed focused and was given high scores on each event. It was her personal best on ALL 4 events as she scored higher than 9.55 on each. She gained the Gold and Tennessee State Champion Title on the floor exercise in her level and age group. She also brought home the TN State Silver Medal for All-Around and Vault, Bronze Medal for Beam and 5th place on Bars with a 9.55. But this is where it gets better. Her All-Around (collected from the 4 events) score was high enough to place her on the Tennessee STATE Team sending her and three coaches to the Southeastern Regional USA Gymnastics event to be held next month, May 11-14 in Myrtle Beach, SC where eight states will vie for the Region Title. She was one of seven girls to stand on stage for all age groups in the Bronze Session and possibly the youngest to make the whole team. She finished her regular USAG sanctioned season with 8-Gold, 5-Silver and 6- Bronze medals. The states included in the Southeast Region are Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
The season for BAM started in late January 2017 in Louisville, KY where Whysper placed first with a Gold on Floor, Beam, Vault and All-Around, as well Bronze on Bars. She and team-mate Alyssa Hasting (Xcel Silver) were the TOP TWO out of 95 girls in that session, which included Xcel Bronze & Silver. And that put them in the 3rd and 6th place (Whysper) out of 366 gymnast for the entire weekend. So ending the season with these two both making the State Team is fitting and ironic. I know their coaches; Kelleigh Matteson, Arin Dahlhauser and Lisa McCarver are super proud of them both along with Coach Loryn Liner Wyatt and Trishaa Johnson. With not-one-but-two of the thrity-seven BAM gymnast heading to SC is quite impressive.
Whysper started this season off with higher scores across all events than ending with last season at the 2016 TN State Meet held in Memphis. Even then, she was lucky enough to place 5th in her age group's All-Around being one of only 2 girls from BAM in the level to gain a qualifying Regional score, but not enough for either to make State Team. It was a personal best goal for 2016 to end with her highest scores of that season on Beam and All-Around. The pressure, stamina, timing, focus, energy and talent it takes for the sport of gymnastics astounds me. And to watch all of the girls at all of the meets is pure joy. They are all special individuals.
Like any gymnast of any age, there are ups and downs and Whysper certainly had her moments, but to say we are super excited for our daughter's accomplishments would be an understatement. And we are looking forward to wonderful good wishes and prayers to see this little amazing talent through with yet again (and hopeful thinking) her highest scores to date in less than just 3 weeks.
#fwsProudMommy and Daddy, Larry Stephenson of the Larry Stephenson Band.
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