Sophomore Lily Tessmer placed third in the All Around category in the Connecticut State Gymnastics meet on March 28. She also placed first in vault, fifth in bars, and sixth in beams.
Tessmer competed in the Junior Olympic Level 8 Senior Division, training at Deary’s Gymnastics in Danielson. She first began at the gym at age 9 and was approached to try their competitive programs.
There are two programs: Excel and Junior Olympics, which has levels from 1-10. Tessmer started in Excel and did a move-up meet to enter the JO Division.
From there, she worked her way through the JO levels. She spent two years at Level 7 before moving into the Level 8 Division and is now training to be Level 9 .
Her favorite event is vault, where she scored a 9.4 in the state competition doing a Yurchenko tuck and won first. Following that is floor.
“I like to just show off my personality with my music and do tumbling,” Tessmer said.
Tessmer practices four days a week, roughly four hours per practice. Most days she goes directly from school sports practice to her gymnastics practice. Currently, she is working on the Yurchenko layout for vault, a straddle back release from high bar to low bar and a double back dismount for bars, a front toss to back tuck series for beam, and a double full and a double tuck for floor.
While she will not be competing in regionals this year, Tessmer is working hard to reach them next year along with training for Level 9. She also hopes to compete in either gymnastics or track (pole vault) on a collegiate level.
“I have no doubt that if I train well and practice really hard, then I can make it,” Tessmer said. “It’s a great sport, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”