Local gymnasts advance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2005

At the Shamrock Invitational gymnastics meet Sunday at the Ocean Tumblers gym in Chesapeake, Kelsie Levesque looked at the long, thin piece of wood that stood between her and competing with the state’s best.

The student at Triple T’s Gymnastics in Suffolk had started off the meet by flipping over the vault for an 8.45 (out of a possible 10), but had managed just a 6.85 on the uneven bars. She’d recovered with an 8.6 in floor exercises, but was now left at 23.9 for the meet – 8.1 points away from 32, the state qualifying mark for level six gymnasts.

&uot;I was happy (with my floor score), but I thought I could have done better,&uot; Kelsie said. &uot;I was really nervous.&uot;

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She waved to the judges, leapt onto the bar, and went through a series of twist, turns, and the occasional backover. Finally, her feet landed on the floor, and her teammates and the rest of the competitors applauded.

The three judges marked on their pads. Kelsie checked out the scoreboard. And a few seconds later, the results went past:

&uot;Balance beam,&uot; the message read, &uot;Kelsie Levesque… Triple T… 8.5.&uot;

By .4, she’d made it to the next level, which will be held in April at Virginia Wesleyna College.

&uot;I wasn’t sure I would make it,&uot; Kelsie said. &uot;But when I saw my score, I was all happy and stuff!&uot;

She’ll have some local company on the sixth level later this year; fellow Triple T member Maureen Barbour, who finished with a 32.7 at Shamrock.

&uot;I think I’m doing very well here,&uot; Maureen said. &uot;This is about what I expected.&uot;

Aside from the rest of the Triple T competitors, Suffolk was represented several times on the host squad as well. In other level six competition, Sydney Martin took fourth in the age 7-9 division with a 36.05, with her 9.2 balance beam score the best of the group. Sarah d’Auriol was eighth in the level four 11-12 group, ending with a 37.125.

&uot;I just wanted to do good and have fun,&uot; said Sarah, a student at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. &uot;I was nervous, but I ended up doing pretty well on everything.&uot;