Abbie Lain had little to no expectations coming into high school gymnastics.
A back injury, and the unfamiliarity with the scene away from club gymnastics had Lain just hoping for a competitive first year tumbling for the Athenians.
The Crawfordsville freshman took the local scene by storm.
All-Around champion at the Montgomery County meet. Top-place finishes at invitationals, and an individual sectional title in one of her weakest events.
These awards and accolades have earned Lain the 2020 Journal Review Gymnast of the Year.
“I really had no expectations for this season,” she said. “I had never competed outside of club gymnastics, so I didn’t have any idea about what competition would be like in high school.”
Lain said she knew was competitive at the club level, but was uncertain how her injury would interfere with success at the high school level.
“I knew that I would probably be a strong competitor when it came to competing in Montgomery County,” she said. “but I didn’t know how I would place when we went to some of the bigger high school invitational meets. I have been always been a strong competitor in club gymnastics before I got injured, but I didn’t know how I would place with not being 100% physically.”
At the county meet, Lain won the all-around with a score if 34.925, claiming individual titles in the vault and bars (8.75), the beam (8.575) and the floor exercise with an 8.85.
Her back injury kept her from doing harder skills in the floor exercise at the beginning of the season, but Lain feels like she improved in that routine the most throughout the season.
Still, no one, including herself saw a winning performance coming at the IHSAA Sectional meet.
“I was really excited and surprised about my floor sectional title,” she said. “I was not having a great meet at sectional and floor was my last event to compete. I decided that I needed to throw all of my difficulty in that routine because I really didn’t have anything to lose at that point. I was so happy when I hit that routine and I was shocked that I won the floor title.”
Lain won the sectional in the floor exercise with a mark of 9.25, and also qualified for the regional with a second place finish on the bars with an effort of 9.025.
With three years of high school gymnastics still ahead of her, Lain hopes to reach a level 10 (the highest level) in the Junior Olympic rankings, and earn a college scholarship.
The first challenge is to regain her strength and skill after being out of the gym due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there’s no doubt, the future is very bright for Lain.
Journal Review All-Area Team
Halle Elliott — Crawfordsville
Abbie Lain — Crawfordsville
Maggie Yeager — North Montgomery
Chaney Scott – Southmont
Ella Watson — Southmont