Gymnast advances to regional competition
Melissa Fernandez has a habit of constantly striving for success.
The 12-year-old gymnast recently qualified for regional competition after scoring a 37.15 out of 40 possible points at the state competition.
Fernandez was one of 26 girls in Kansas that qualified to go to the state competition. While there, she received first place on the vault, balance beam and the uneven bars.
Fernandez takes lessons from the Kansas Gymnastics and Dance Center in Olathe. Mother Tammy Klinedinst said her daughter took the wins in stride.
"I tell you, she was so funny in the car on the way back," Klinedinst said. "She was like, 'the state champion wants to listen to the radio.'"
Fernandez competes at level eight. For a gymnast to progress to a higher level, he or she must score an average of 34 points in overall competition and gain a trainer's endorsement. Levels range from 1-10, then elite.
Because of her win, Fernandez will be one of 12 Kansas girls to spend April 27-29 in Littleton, Colo. for regional competition. Because her trip will come at a slight financial burden, some businesses in Eudora have volunteered to help
On April 12, Fernandez will give an exhibition to a gymnastics class for young girls.
Then, she will have a bake sale from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on April 14 at C&S Market. Dairy Queen has donated an ice cream cake to be raffled off at the event. Sonic will also hold a fund-raiser from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 21. The event will feature games, face paining and a clown. Money raised from tips and donations will help with the trip.
Klinedinst said any money raised would be a tremendous help.
"This has been real expensive," she said.