Youth sports

Waldo County gymnast Grant soars to lofty heights

She takes her impressive talent to competitions from Maine to Florida and beyond
By Ken Waltz | May 22, 2019
Courtesy of: Team Photo Mylee Grant, an 11-year-old gymnast from Thorndike, on floor exercise.

Thorndike — Mylee Grant continues to impress in the world of gymnastics and the 11-year-old fifth-grader plans to take the sport as far as possible which, to this point, has included impressive performances in state, regional and eastern national competitions.

The Thorndike resident has excelled in the sport for years, but this winter and spring achieved several incredible results on trips to Massachusetts and Florida meets. And, in November, she took a testing trip to the National Talent Opportunity Program in Indiana.

The home-schooled student remains busy — and plenty focused — with training and competitions.

Grant is a Level 9 gymnast — the youngest in that level in Maine. There are 10 levels of gymnastics.

The daughter of Mike and Shannon Grant recently qualified, from the state meet in March in Old Town, for the Level 9 regional competition.

Qualifying for the meet placed Grant against the most talented Level 9 gymnasts in the Northeast, which included those from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island.

More than 200 top state athletes competed in the Region 6 event on April 14 in Springfield, Mass.

"Mylee was going for the experience knowing she was up against much more tenured Level 9s, whom many were into their second year of competing at that level," Shannon said.

The 4-foot 6-inch, 75-pound Grant more than gained experience at the event. She did, in fact, gain earn some of the best finishes in the meet. The youngster certainly picked the most opportune time to perform at her highest level to date.

Grant had her "best meet of the season," as she scored 9.5 on vault, 9.5 on uneven parallel bars, 9.425 on balance beam and 9.4 on floor exercise, which gave her impressive all-around score of 37.85. A perfect 10 is the best one can score in an event in gymnastics.

"This score not only crushed her season-high but gave her the highest all-around of all Level 9s all ages for Region 6," said Shannon.

Thus, Grant finished first all-around in the meet and also qualified to Eastern Nationals at The Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla. on May 10. Eastern Nationals consisted of the top seven Level 9 gymnasts from the following: Region 5, (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio), Region 6, (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island),Region 7, (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia) and Region 8 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee).

"Pretty crazy this little athlete from Maine making it to nationals," Shannon said.

Grant's mom said her daughter "was very nervous, probably the most nervous she has ever shown in her own quiet way. She knew she was up against the top seven kids from each region in the Eastern half of the US. Mylee was excited to go represent her gym and her state."

And she did that in impressive fashion.

Grant won medals in vault and beam and hit her second highest all-around score.

And the icing on the cake was with Grant's help, Region 6 took home second place as a team.

At the Eastern Nationals, Grant recorded the following scores: vault: 9.45; bars: 9.25; beam: 9.3; floor: 8.5; and all-around: 36.5. Grant had a fall on her final tumbling pass, which decreased her start value as well as points taken away for the fall, Shannon said.

Grant trains at Maine-ly Gymnastics in Augusta, represents Decal Gymnastics and is guided by several coaches. She spends most of her time being coached by Delani Sher and Richard Del Gallo, "Coach Dell."

Coach Dell traveled to Florida with Grant, which was a first trip for them together as the youngster said "usually Delani goes on all my gymnastics adventures."

Even at a young age, Grant is dedicated to her chosen sport, as she spends at least 25 hours in the gymnasium each week and sometimes six hours a day. Her parents drive an hour each way to train.

Most of Grant's training is in Augusta, but she also works out a few hours a week at her parents' X-treme Gymnastics and Tumbling Center in Palmyra.

Grant is driven and often does school work at 5:30 a.m. in order to fit all things into her busy daily schedule.

One can follow Grant's gymnastics journey at myleegrant1 on Instagram and she also has a YouTube channel.

Mylee Grant. (Courtesy of: Team Photo)
Mylee Grant on balance beam. (Courtesy of: Team Photo)
Mylee Grant on balance beam. (Courtesy of: Team Photo)
Mylee Grant, right, with a coach. (Courtesy of: Team Photo)
Mylee Grant on uneven parallel bars. (Courtesy of: Team Photo)
Mylee Grant on uneven parallel bars. (Courtesy of: Team Photo)
Mylee Grant on uneven parallel bars. (Courtesy of: Team Photo)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Carrie Bacon | May 31, 2019 14:28

I am SO happy for Mylee and offer *C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S*. on her SUPERB performance and score at the Easter Nationals meet in Kissimee, Florida!  Hers is an awesome accomplishment and puts the world on notice that she is a special, very talented rising star, sure to light up the gymnastics world and make all Mariners proud of her!  Good job!



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