All of this newness created a nervousness like I've never before seen in Alyssa. The first-meet jitters translated into several uncharacteristic mistakes, and an error in age group assignment which awarded her five medals that really belonged to someone else, had Lys feeling disappointed, embarrassed and guilt-ridden as she left her first level 8 meet.
But like any good athlete, she bounced right back and embraced all of the positives of her accomplishments.
Here she is in the hotel room (the meet was held in Beaverton, OR) getting ready to go:
Pictures we took to show Grandma her meet hair do:
As soon as we got to the gym, the mother of one of her teammates noticed her name in the program was listed in the 16+ age group. I quickly brought it to Lys' attention before she went out onto the floor and assumed she then would mention it to her coaches. (The coaches were at that time busy with the level 7's who were just finishing up in the session previous to Alyssa's.) The meet started and I didn't give the possibility of Lys being in the wrong age group another thought.
But the mistake was never corrected.
Bars was her first event. It's usually her strongest event and though she made an error at the beginning of the set, she saved it and managed to pull together a decent routine. It earned her a 9.1. Even with mistakes, I think it's pretty darn amazing how high our tiny girl flies!
Beam was very shaky with two major wobbles and floor would've been gorgeous were it not for a fall on her front pike. Scores: 8.425 on beam and 8.85 on floor. Darn those jitters!
But vault was perhaps the event we were most worried about. She'd been having trouble in practice and just days before the meet, her coaches decided to have her compete a different vault than the one she'd been training. She did great! This vault earned a 9.0 and it was a good way to end the meet.
The errors in her routines left her feeling disappointed but that was nothing compared to what was about to happen during the awards ceremony. When the awards for the 12-13 age group were being distributed, she quickly realized she was not included in them. (She would've placed 7th on vault and 8th on floor.) She then realized that she was going to be included in the 16+ age awards which reduced my never-cries, tough-as-nails girl to tears.
I thought my heart would break in two as I saw the pain and embarrassment on her face. A thoughtful teammate noticed her crying and took her to her coaches. The mistake was eventually brought to the meet director's attention but not before Alyssa had to stand on the podium as a 16+ year old to accept five new medals that really belonged to someone else. (She placed either 2nd or 3rd on everything in that age group!)
And we think she's freakishly tiny for 12 years old. Imagine how she looked with the 16+ girls. Imagine what all the spectators must have been thinking! Imagine how sad it is for the girl in that age group that didn't get to be awarded those medals that rightfully belonged to her.
She looks 16, don't ya think?
When I finally got to hold her after the meet, she melted into a puddle of tears in my arms. Poor thing. It wasn't her fault, yet she felt so guilty.
But like I said, she bounced back quickly. We watched the videos of each of her routines and pointed out all the great things that she did. Even if they weren't the routines she'd hoped to do, we still think she's pretty amazing and we couldn't be more proud!
Team AGC--Level 8
Way to go, Lys!