Young gymnasts prepare for regional meet

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Team Elite II Gymnastics are flipping at the chance to show people they can compete with the best gymnasts in the country.
The eight-person Mississippi team has three girls on the team from Tupelo’s Elite II and one alternate. Morgan Brekke, 12, Alyssa McClain, 10, and Chamberlyn Grubbs, 9, were chosen to participate for team Mississippi in Friday’s regional meet at the BancorpSouth Arena. Rachel Lewellen, 10, will serve as an alternate.
The team will compete against other Level Seven gymnasts from Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. But despite being underdogs, coach Metry McGaughy said the girls are more than ready to prove they belong with the best.
“I’m not nervous,” said McClain, smiling at the other girls. “I’m ready.”
Brekke, who competed last year in the regional meet in Georgia, also said she was ready to go.
“We’ve practiced for this and we are all prepared,” she said. “We have worked very hard and we think we will do good.”
Even though he admits being very hard on the girls, McGaughy said his “tough-love” coaching style has prepared them well.
“These girls are tough,” he said. “They are all strong and all handle the routines well. We want to go out there and show people that Mississippi has some good gymnasts and I think this whole team will do just that.”
The teams will individually compete on the beam, uneven bars, vault and floor exercise. The regional meet starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the BancorpSouth Arena.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.