As Lacy Mott and Kinsley Martin, both of Waxahachie made their way down the tunnel of Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, Calif., to compete in the national gymnastics competition, they shared what a great experience it was for them both.

“Walking down the tunnel was the most nervous part of the whole competition for me,” Mott said. “When we got through, I started looking at all the people, and it made me really nervous.”

Mott added that she kept thinking about how proud she wanted to make her coach, and she kept her mind focused on that.

“I was very shaky and nervous at first,” she said. “But during the practice round my coach talked with me, and I started to feel better.”

Mott said her coach, Madison Martin, gave her a few tips during the practice round to help make her feel more comfortable. She also said Madison spoke with her about her form.

“I was working on my front tuck, and I went off the trampoline and landed on the mats,” she said. “Madison told me that I needed to make sure that I kept my toes straight.”

Mott said by the time the real thing rolled around she was ready to display her talent to everyone there. She said her practice round paid off because she placed second in flight and 10th place overall.

Mott’s best friend and teammate, Kinsley said her experience coming down the tunnel was very overwhelming.

“I had never seen that many people at a competition before,” Kinsley said. “Even when we go to Houston to compete, we never see that many people.”

Kinsley said seeing all the people made her very nervous, but she knew she was there for one reason, and that was to compete and give her all. She said her coach instructed her to focus on keeping her body and ankles tight. Once she received that input, she said she became more focused on the competition and less focused on the crowd.

She said her favorite part of the entire trip was the competition itself.

“I love competing and performing my double mini,” Kinsley said. “It made me feel really good when I took second in flight and 10th overall.”

Brittany, Kinsley’s mother, said the entire event was amazing, and she is thankful for her daughter’s experience.

“It was amazing to watch her (Kinsley) get to experience so many firsts in her life,” Brittany said. “Her first national competition and her first airplane experience. I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it with her. We all were, with the exception of our son, and it was great.”

She added that it even gave her great joy to watch the girls interact during their down time. She also said she was amazed at the fact that Kinsley placed.

“I was very humble that she was able to compete in nationals,” she said. “They have a very small team, and to see them place against some of those other teams, it gave me great satisfaction. They went out there and did what they needed to do. And I know 10th place doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is when you consider everything.”

Mott’s grandmother, Teri McConnaha, said the experience was pretty awesome for her as a grandparent.

“This was a neat experience for the girls and for me,” McConnaha said. “The thing that stood out to me the most about this whole thing is how the girls supported one another. They were there for each other, cheering each other on and providing a support system. They are very good friends, and I know this event only brought them closer.”

Since returning to Waxahachie, Kinsley has since been promoted to the next level at the Waxahachie Gymnastics Center. However, Mott has been taking some time off due to ankle soreness. She hopes when she returns to the trampoline the first week of August, she will be promoted and continue to compete with her friend.

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