The 2017-2018 Meet Season has come to an end. In May, the east half of the country gathered together for the Level 9 Eastern National Championship. Region 5 Insider was unable to attend the Level 9 Easterns, but we definitely felt like we were there with the amount of pictures, posts and text messages we received from those who were there. A BIG THANK YOU goes out to all the Region 5 coaches, parents & athletes who helped of cover this competition from a far. This year Region 5 had 7 AA champions, 6 team champions and numerous individual champions. We would like to highlight the young athletes who were named 2018 Level 9 Eastern National Champions. Please check out our printed interviews & photos of the AA Champions, we will be posting each one throughout the week.
Our first Level 9 Eastern National All-Around Champion is Junior 5 Ava Molina of CGA in Ohio presented by A-1 Awards.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! How does it feel to be the 2018 National Jr 5 Bars, Beam, & All Around Champion?
It makes me feel super excited. Winning a gold medal at Nationals has been a goal of mine all season. Even though I knew I believed in myself and in my training, I still can’t believe it happened!
Tell us how your meet went today? Walk us through each moment of your day, warm ups, events etc….
I thought my meet went really well! During general warm-up and stretch I think our team got really pumped up and ready to go. We started on floor, flight A which is a strong event for me. Floor warm-ups went great and I was confident and ready to go for my floor routine! The routine itself was very good; my first pass (a double back) had great amplitude! It was so high I even stumbled back a little bit, but I recovered and had a great finish to my routine. Next, we went to vault. Vault went really well for me. The two vaults I competed were great! After that, we went to bars. Bar warm-up was a little hectic because we all had different coaches with different bar settings, which takes time to adjust in between each gymnast. This was different for me because when I compete with my team from CGA, we all have similar bar settings. However, after warm-ups, we calmed down and had a great bar rotation! The bar routine I competed was a very good routine for me. My last event was beam. Beam is a good event for me to end on because it also is one of my stronger events! During warm-up on beam I stayed very calm and just did my normal. For my competition routine on beam, I felt very confident. I told myself to just be normal and I was. I had a great routine and was so excited when I finished
What do you normally do between events to stay focused and ready for the next event?
To stay focused between events, I usually go through my mental choreography for the next event. This not only helps me to stay focused, but it also helps me to calm down and prepare myself for the next event.
Tell us about the atmosphere of the meet compared to regular season meets you have been too.
The atmosphere at Eastern’s was definitely different then regular season meets I have competed in. I think everyone in Region 5 came in with a goal to be the winning region.
What is it like being part of Region 5 at Eastern Nationals?
Being a part of Region 5 at Eastern Nationals is definitely very fun! I think Region 5 finds a way to make you focused during the meet while still being able to enjoy the experience. For example, before every event we picked a really funny cheer to say before we competed. Doing those cheers helped everyone to calm down and do their best and it also helped us to just laugh and have a good time!
How has your experience been here at Nationals? What have you been doing besides competing?
My experience at Eastern Nationals has been great because not only did I have a great meet, I ended up winning bars, beam, and all around. That made it a great experience because being able to win at least one gold medal at Eastern Nationals has been a goal of mine since the beginning of the competition season.
When the meet is over what is or what was the first thing you did to celebrate your win?
After Eastern Nationals, my family took advantage of being in that part of the country and went to Niagara Falls!
Other than becoming National Champion, what was one highlight of the meet for you today?
A highlight for me was being able to have a great last meet with my coach Whitney Snowden. She was my very first coach when I started gymnastics classes 7 years ago, so I’m going to miss her.
Anything crazy or funny happen during your meet today?
On my first bar warm up turn, the tensions weren’t tightened, so the bars were a lot more loose than normal. That warm up turn went fine, but it gave me a sense of urgency to make the rest of my warm ups count even more.
How does Region 5 compare to the other Regions out on the competition Floor? What sets Region 5 apart?
Region 5 looks great out on the competition floor. I think our team unity mindset really sets us apart from other regions.
Who inspired you the most today? What did they say to you? How did you get amped up and motivated today?
My family inspired me the most today. They told me to do my best before I walked onto the competition floor. To get amped up and motivated, I wrote down some of my goals in a journal right before the meet
Ava Molina was also part of the Junior 5 National Champion Team as well as picking up National Titles on the Bars and Balance Beam.