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Local teen is one of only three girls in Mississippi who are as good as D-1 college gymnasts

Purivs, Miss. - Mississippi does not have gymnastics in any of its schools, but that did not deter one local girl from playing the sport she loves and competing at a high level.

Local gymnast, Grace Hester said, "I think teammates help a lot to keep you in the sport. I think gymnastics is a great sport because unlike any other sport, you can top out in any other sport. But in gymnastics, you can't run out of new skills to learn."

At the age of two, Hester began gymnastics. And over her 13 years of experience, she has learned many skills. And as a result, Hester is now a level ten gymnast, which is the equivalent of the average D-1 college gymnast.

Hester said "it's such a great feeling to know that you made it to one of the highest levels there is in gymnastics. And many gymnasts don't make it that far."

Recently, Hester competed at the state competition in Starkville. In order for Hester to qualify for regionals, she had to receive a score of 34.5.

Hester received a score of 36.

Hester and another gymnast from Biloxi are the only two gymnasts from Mississippi who qualified for the Regional Tournament in Florida.

Hester said "it really helps me going into these competitions knowing that I have my whole team behind me. I have the gym behind me. And no matter what happens, they'll always love me for that and they'll always support me no matter what. As well as my family."

Hester is now in Kissimmee, Florida for regionals where she is hoping to dominate her competition, so she can do what every gymnast dreams of doing, which is to qualify and compete in the Junior Olympic Nationals.



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