A Lakewood High School gymnast did what no one at the school has done in nearly 30 years: Placed at the state tournament.
Grace Hinslea-Burke finished 10th at the state gymnastics competition over the weekend.
The Lakewood sophomore finished with a score of 36.575 at Saturday's state meet.
Last year, she missed reaching the state tournament by a tenth of a point.
Fatima AbuZahrieh, the gymnastics coach at , said there hasn’t been a state placer from Lakewood since the school’s dynasty back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
She said Hinslea-Burke has been tirelessly training for years at , led by Joe Gura, recently named National Coach of the Year.
“She’s got a great attitude, she’s a great supporter of her teammates and the athletes on other teams,” said AbuZahrieh. “Just like any other athlete, she gets down on herself when she’s not at her best.”
The third year coach took a few of Hinslea-Burke’s teammates to support her in Columbus.
AbuZahrieh said she’s proud of . Unlike Brecksville or Magnifat high schools, Lakewood isn’t loaded with club gymnasts.
“The level of difficulty in the high school level is pretty high,” she said, adding that her squad improves each year.
“We’re pretty exciting about next year, I only see us improving.”
She’s also excited about Hinslea-Burke’s future.
“She’s excited about putting more difficulty in to her routine so she can finish higher next year,” AbuZahrieh said. “She only has ‘up’ to go from here.”