It is a season that will long be remembered by those who competed this year for Gipson’s Gymnastics of Trussville.
From January to June, 16 gymnasts performed above expectations and combined to win 179 trophies and medals, 101 of which were first place.
The year started Jan. 28, with a meet at Gipson’s Gymnastics and ended in June at the nationals in Madison, Wisconsin, just two weeks ago.
That first event of the year was called ‘Flipping into the New Tear Invitational.” Seven teams from Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama competed in the event.
The events included power tumbling, trampoline and double mini trampoline.
The youngest competitor with Gipson’s was five-year-old Brandi Mitchell, who won four first place trophies, one second place finish and one third place finish.
Six-year-old girls’ competitors included Avery Lappin, Isabella Gilley and Madison Bryant.
Lappin won a second place trophy and two third place medals, while Gilley had a first-place finish, a second place finish and a fourth place medal. Bryant had two first place finishes and a fourth place finish.
The 10-11-year-old girls’ competitors included Shae Lovelady (one first place and two second place), Kailyn Bryant (two second place and one fourth place), Rachel Garrett (one first place, one second place, and one third place), and Courtney Stanley (two first place and one second place).
Brady Foster, 9, won three first-place trophies while Seth Jordan, 10, won two first-place honors and a second place award.
Carlee McCay, 10, won two second-place awards and a third-place honor while Neely Sullivan, 10, won one first-place trophy and two third-place awards. Cassidy Lappin, 11, won a second, third and fourth-place award.
Mackenzie Lappin, 14, won a first-place trophy and a second place and fifth-place award.
Jarred Kennemur, 13, won two first-place trophies and a second place award while Alex Foster, 14, won three first-place trophies.
At the second meet of the season in Georgia, Gipson’s competed against eight other teams and won 21 first-place trophies, 13 second-place trophies, eight third-place trophies, two fourth-place trophies and one fifth-place trophy.
Coach David Gipson said these athletes are from Springville, Clay, Moody, Pell City, Argo, Trussville, Pinson and Vestavia Hills.
A third meet was held again in Georgia March 31, and the talented gymnasts brought home 34 first-place trophies, 12 second-place trophies, six third-place trophies and two fourth-place trophies.
“The team was so excited and eager to work harder on their new skills,” Gipson said. “Some of the power tumblers were going to be moving up into higher levels for the state meet.”
Gipson said he hopes someday to get other gymnastic schools involved in this exciting sport.
“It is a blast,” he said. “I have done it for 36 years and it has brought much pleasure to me.”
At the state meet, Gipson’s gymnasts won several Gold or first place trophies making them Alabama/Georgia State Champions.
Brandi Mitchell won three first-place trophies. Madison Bryant won two first and one second-place honor. Emma Caterinichia won one first place and two second-place honors. Natalie Firzlaff and Brady Foster won three first-place trophies each. Seth Jordan won two first-place trophies and one second-place honor. Shae Lovelady won two first-place trophies and one second place, as did Neely Sullivan.
Kailyn Bryan won first, second and third-place honors while Courtney Stanley won two first place trophies and a third place honor. Morgan Caterinichia won two first-place trophies and a fourth-place honor while Katie Firzlaff won a first-place trophy and two second-place honors. Jarred Kennemur won two first-place trophies and a second-place trophy.
All total, Gipson’s won 26 first-place trophies, seven second-place trophies, three third-place trophies, and one fourth place trophy.
Two competitors advanced to the national meet in Madison, Wis. They were Brandi Mitchell, 5, of Oneonta; and Courtney Stanley, 11, of Argo.
Mitchell competed on the first day and placed eighth. Gipson said the Top 10 competitors were recognized as national champions.
Mitchell moved on to her second event, which was trampoline and placed seventh, bringing home another medal. Day three of competition saw Mitchell bring home another seventh-place finish.
Gipson said with three medals around her neck, she was very happy.
Stanley placed seventh on her first day of competition and placed fourth the next day. She missed the Bronze Medal by 0.10 of a point.
“This was Courtney’s fourth time to compete at nationals,” Gipson said. “She has the memories of her highest scores to date in a much higher level then past national championships. We have already started preparing for the new season starting in January and working on new skills and higher levels.”
The levels range from sub beginner on floor, beginner, advanced beginner, sub novice, novice, intermediate, sub advanced, advanced and elite levels.
On Trampoline and double mini, there are six levels on each — beginner, novice, intermediate, sub advance, advance and elite.