It's true what they say; everything really is bigger in Texas. Even the gymnastics meets. Held in the Fort Worth Convention Center and hosting 3100 gymnasts from all across the country, the Metroplex Challenge was the biggest gymnastics event I've ever attended.
Lys looked so tiny as she made her way through the massive, blocks-long hallways toward her level 8 session.
She was happy to meet up with her teammates.
Here's team AGC--level 8 all ready to go:
It was a big meet and Alyssa had a big performance. Big! Like meet-of-her-life big!
She started on vault, which is not her strongest event, but she did her best and got a very decent score considering how much more difficult the vault is this year compared to previous levels. (She ended up placing ninth with a 8.95.)
Lys has had several nervous positions she has been assuming in competition. The double-arm-wrap-around-the-waist is the most uptight and the one she demonstrated before vaulting. Seeing her nervous always makes me even more nervous. I just want her to be able to do her very best.
Before bars she assumed the slightly more relaxed, but still nervous stance of wrist crossing seen below:
But nerves and all, she did the best bar routine I've ever seen her do in a competition. It was spectacular and it earned her a 9.525! I knew she had it in her. I knew it!
After bars, the nervous postures disappeared and were replaced by a very confident and relaxed-looking gymnast.
What followed were her best beam and floor performances of the season. (both events scored a 9.425)
Here she is warming up for beam on the floor:
Put those performances together and they add up to an all-time All Around high of 37.325! She's never even been in the 37's before. This was a big deal. Like Texas-sized big deal!
I was crying in the stands.
She placed first on bars and floor:
It is customary for the girls to offer their opponents a congratulatory handshake, but when the podium is shared with a teammate, a hug is the appropriate gesture. Here's Lys and Karlei congratulating each other on placing 1st and 2nd on beam.
And Maison and Alyssa celebrating their 2nd and 3rd place All-Around finishes. (Lys missed first place by .15 to a girl from New Jersey.)
The team won first place!
After each meet, the coaches choose the gymnast whose performance merits the privilege of taking home the team trophy. Not only was Alyssa the highest scoring on her team, but her coaches also acknowledged that she made a great comeback after a very disappointing meet last weekend. So she was given the honor of seeing the trophy safely back to Washington.
Way to go, Alyssa!
*Because of the size of the meet, it was hard to get good video. (A portion of her floor routine was behind a big pillar!) Bars was the only event with a great view. But if you'd like to see her routines, click on this link and watch the videos with Metroplex in the title.