The judges don’t hand out any spare change at the state gymnastics meet.
So when Kenston junior Sammi Nero carded her season-best score on the balance beam, there was no doubt she stuck her routine.
After scoring ninth at districts with an 8.95 the previous week, the Lady Bomber improved to a 9.1 to land a spot on the podium during the individual competition Saturday at Hilliard Bradley High School.
“It was crazy, because the beam has been a struggle for me all season, and in recent years as well,” she said. “So to be top six at states this year was kind of mind-blowing, I guess you could say. But I’m glad I ended on beam. I’m glad that event went well.”
With Northeast Ohio breeding the top gymnasts in the state, the five girls who defeated Nero were all from her district.
Also competing on the vault and floor exercise, Nero was disappointed about her lower scores of 9.0 and 8.65, she said. Going from competing in just one event last year to three events on Saturday, Nero said she put a lot more pressure on herself.
“I finished floor, and I was real upset,” she said. “I wanted to bounce back on vault, but that didn’t go as planned either. So I was even more upset. So then I wanted to make up for them on beam, and I did it.
“I just thought to myself, ‘Do what you do in practice and don’t think about what your score’s going to be. Just think about your skills, and it’ll happen on its own.’ So I’m glad I was able to finish strong.”
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