Girl flips for gymnastics competition

Grace Swartz, 10, of Upper Sandusky, qualified and attended the 2014 YMCA National Gymnastics Championships in Tampa, Florida; where she earned high marks.

During the competition July 2-4, Swartz placed first in beam, third on the floor and fourth overall out of 19 competitors.

“I was nervous and excited,” Swartz said. “I thought I was doing well, and I got good scores.”

“We new it would be difficult to earn awards,” said Becky Bohn, gymnastics coordinator with Tiffin YMCA. “Grace had good potential and was in a good place.”

Bohn said there were about 1,650 competitors from 22 states at the tournament.

Ohio was the state with the greatest attendance, with 24 teams, she said.

Swartz has been participating in gymnastics at Tiffin YMCA since the fall of 2012.

“I was watching movies and videos on gymnastics and decided that I wanted to join the team,” Swartz said.

Swartz then joined the YMCA’s zero gravity gymnastics team.

Swartz said she most likes tumbling and flipping on the bars.

Bohn said, to prepare for competition, Swartz practiced up to 6-8 hours per week.

“We were all excited for Grace,” Bohn said. “She was interested in going to nationals and, when she got there, she pretty much just blew it out of the water.”

Swartz said this was her first year competing.

“I am happy that I did well. I want to get to the next level and compete again next year,” Swartz said.

It is Swartz’s hope to one day compete in the Olympics.