Kayla Williams – From JO Champion to World Champion in 5 Months
Six months ago, Kayla Williams was preparing for a pretty big meet in her gymnastics career – USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics (JO) Level 10 National Championships. The year before she had placed 2nd. In May 2009 Kayla was crowned the JO National Champion in her age division.
Weeks later, Kayla made her Elite level debut at the US Cover Girl Classic – showing off her AMAZING and powerful tumbling and sky high vaults – enough to earn her 1st place on both events. Not too shabby…
Later in the summer Kayla was crowned the US National Champion on Vault, made the US National team as an Elite (that means she actually qualified for the JO National Team and the US National Team in the same season). This earned Kayla an opportunity to go to the selection camp for Worlds and a berth on the US World Championship team.
The World Championships were held in London, England this week. Kayla placed first in preliminaries on vault by scoring a 14.812 on her two vaults – a Rudi and a Yurchenko Double Full. In finals Kayla performed the same two vaults. She scored a 15.200 on her Rudi and then a 14.975 on her Yurchenko double full, which yielded a 14.975. In finals the scores get averaged, making her final score a 15.087, which was 0.582 ahead of silver-medalist Ariella Kaeslin of Switzerland.
Did I mention that Kayla is not from one of the “big” gyms we hear of so often? Kayla trains at Bozhi’s Gym Nest in Huntington, WV. With the retirement of vaulting/tumbling powerhouse Alicia Sacramone after the 2008 Olympics, it is great to have Kayla on the US team – and hopefully for many years to come!