Anna placed fourth on beam and second on floor and fifth on all-around.
Kensley placed fourth tied on vault and fourth on bars.
Mae Armstrong and Elizabeth Scott competed Xcel Diamond (the highest level in Xcel). They received the following honors:
Xcel Gold Gymnasts, Ariana Cruz, Lily Fields, Aryonna Ford and Grayson Thomas received the Sixth Place Team Banner. Ariana placed Second on Vault, Third on Bars, Third on Beam and Second All-Around. Aryonna placed third on Vault and fourth on Beam.
Competing in the Friday 2:00 session were Jax Gym Xcel Platinum and Diamond gymnasts. Competing Xcel Platinum were Kaeani Cruz, Anna Highfill, Kenzie Howerton, Mia Mabry and Kensley Rickett. The Team won the Fourth-Place Team Banner.
Grayson placed third on Vault, tied third on bars, is a State Event Champion on both Beam and Floor in addition to being Individual All-Around State Champion. Grayson has been Individual All-Around Champion at several meets this season. Congratulations, Grayson. We are so proud of you!
Competing in the 11:00 Friday morning session were Jax Gym Xcel Gold gymnasts, Ariana Cruz, Lily Fields and Aryonna Ford.
Can't help but wonder what our first-time State Meet competitors felt as they walked up these steps to this impressive building - the Jack Stephens Center - I can remember my first time there and it was awesome! Or were the kids so excited and centered that it didn't affect them?
The 2021 Arkansas State Meet Competition was held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 12, 13 and 14, at the Jack Stephens Center on the UALR Campus in Little Rock. It was an exciting time for gymnasts, especially so because a year ago, the 2020 State Competition was cancelled the day before it was due to begin - due to Covid restrictions. There is no doubt that covid affected all the gyms in the state and we are all so thankful that everything (well a lot) has changed since that time last year so gymnastics competitions could continue. Twenty-nine teams from the State of Arkansas competed in the three-day meet for gymnasts, Junior Olympic Levels Three through Ten and Xcel Levels, Gold through Diamond.
Unlike seasonal competitions, where a team will compete against other teams, State Meet is held in sessions for gymnasts of the same age range for each level. Team awards are not determined until the sessions for all age ranges for the level have competed, so photos will be of partial teams and hopefully Jax Gym has complete photos of all our competing gymnasts - they just won't be in one group, as usual. There are some sessions where only one team gymnast might be in the session but in both cases for Jax, the solo gymnasts did very well. Jax Gym competed Xcel Levels Gold, Platinum and Diamond, and Junior Olympic Levels Three through Nine. Xcel Silver and Levels One and Two do not compete at Arkansas State Meets.
The meet began Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. with gymnasts from Xcel Gold Teams competing. Grayson Thomas competed in this session and she started Jax Gym off in a great manner, winning the State Championship Individual All-Around for her age bracket.
Kylie (left) and Kendyl (right) qualified for the Level Eight Regionals which will be held in Overland Park, Kansas, in late April.
Elizabeth is a graduating senior this year so this was her last competitive meet. She has also assisted with the Level One Team. The State Meet can be an emotional meet for the gymnast and the parents, especially after one has spent so many years competing. We are proud of Elizabeth and wish her much luck in her future schooling at the U of A at Fayetteville.
Jax Gym Levels Eight and Nine competed in the Friday early evening session. Competing Level Nine for Jax Gym was Sara Grace Moss. Competing Level Eight for Jax Gym were Kylie Belew, Kendyl Bush and Isla Joy Ramariz. The Jax Level Eight Team was awarded the Fourth-Place Team Award. Top awards for the team gymnasts follow:
Elizabeth is an Arkansas State Xcel Diamond State Champion and Vault, Bars and Floor Event Champion as well.
The Xcel Gymnasts are coached by Coach Stacy.
The Optional Levels, Eight and Nine are coached by Coaches Dennis and Laurel.