Rapid City Stevens gymnastics senior Shay Trimble had accomplished a lot in her high school career, and ended with one final bang.
Trimble took first at the Class AA state gymnastics meet in Brookings in the floor exercise with 9.65 points, ahead of Watertown's Myah Morris' 9.55.
"I was glad I got to take home something," she said. "It’s sad that my gymnastics career is over because I’ve met so many people and it’s all I’ve ever known, but it’s also exciting to see what’s next for me."
It wasn't an easy final year for Trimble, who missed the first two months of competition and only had three meets to qualify for the state tournament.
Her parents own a gym, and she said she's been doing gymnastics for as long as she can remember. She's been doing club gymnastics for that long, but it became apparent when she joined the Raiders in January that she was going to have to turn up her competitiveness if she wanted to accomplish her final goal.
She did just that.
"She started high school gymnastics as an either grader, so we’ve had her on and off since then," Stevens coach Pam Junek said. "She came in with a different determination than what she had had in the past so she had to kick into high gear because she had some goals for herself and she wanted was a state title for herself.
"Our season is very short, with some set-backs she wasn’t able to start until January so she only had three meets to qualify for state. Once she did she poured it all out there."
Her competition season started Jan. 19 with the Rapid City Gym-O-Rama and was followed by the Rapid City Triangular Jan. 26. After that her only chance was the regional meet.
During the state meet she also took third place in the vault and eighth in the all-around.
"I think I could have done better this year but I don’t get to redo it," she said. "I kind of procrastinated because I thought I had all of this time and before I knew it it was time to compete."
A lot natural ability came in handy when the time came to compete, as well.
"It was a lot of hours in the gym," Trimble said. "It all kind of depends on skill level but for me it wasn’t much of an adjustment just because I’ve done this for a really long time, but it would be harder for someone just starting out."
And all those hours left with not just a happy coach, but a happy program as well.
"We were really proud of her, especially with the maturity factor kicking in there so that was pretty awesome," Junek said. "When you do the club it’s more about individualized and so when you come to high school the difference is, we’re more team-centered. As we’ve found out it takes more than one of them to make a team ... she was able to pull it together with all the years of training and experience she has to pull off a victory in floor."
Junek also said Trimble's floor routine was the talk of the meet.
Once her 1 minute and 24 second routing started, everyone stopped what they were doing to take it in. It was the combination of not just her technical ability, but the performance action of the routine Trimble choreographed mostly herself that makes the difference a lot of time in the scoring.
"They know what an awesome performer she is, not just her skills but her dance," she said. "As a coach I can’t tell you how proud not only I was of her but of all the coaches who have worked with her."
Editor's note: An athlete who has been previously selected as Athlete of the Week can't be picked more than once in the same season.
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