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Katie Carling, a resident of Brookfield and a sophomore at Lyons Township High School, competed against gymnasts from across the country at the Level 9 Eastern National Championships earlier this month.
Her team of Region 5 athletes from five different states took first place in the Sr. 6 age group, and Carling brought home two personal medals.
Carling excelled on the balance beam, scoring 8.925 and earning fifth place. She also earned a 9.2 on vault, 8.825 on bars, and 9.05 for her floor routine. With her combined score of 36.0 for the four events, she won her second medal at nationals for sixth place all around.
Earlier this spring at the Illinois State Gymnastics Meet, Carling scored 8.95 on the uneven parallel bars to take fifth place and advance from the state meet to compete at the USAG Region 5 Meet along with several of her Flying High Gymnastics teammates.
At regionals, Carling performed steadily throughout the meet. She was able to parlay a string of three top 10 finishes into a fifth-place all-around medal with 36.40 combined points. Carling's fifth place finish qualified her to represent the Midwest's Region 5 at Nationals in Landover, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.
"Nationals is such a big meet, and there were so many great gymnasts to compete with," she said. "I felt it was such a huge honor and a great experience even to make it that far. Mostly it was just really exciting being there."