Drayton brings home national gymnastics title

Anytime someone can put the term “national champion” on a resume, they’re probably doing something right.

Area teen Amari Drayton can make such a claim after earning a individual national gymnastics title earlier this month.

Drayton is a young gymnastics star that competes for the Olympia Hills Gym in Buda. The gym is a competitive and recreational gymnastics and cheer facility in Buda, and the home of Drayton’s gymnastics team.

Drayton recently competed in the Women’s 2018 Junior Olympic championship meet in Cincinnati, Ohio. She competed in the Junior A age bracket and was one of the youngest competitors at the event.

Her age did not hold her back however, as Amari went on to win top honors at the event. She placed first on the uneven bars with a 9.6 score. Her 9.6 on the floor exercise earned her second place in the event.

Drayton also secured a third place finish on the balance beam with a score of 9.55. Overall, she finished with a 38.325, the highest individual score at the event. When all was said and done, Drayton had surpassed 56 other competitors from all across the country and finished as the Junior Olympic National Champion.

Jeff Beal and Christina Williams coach Drayton in her pursuit of a championship. After the event, Beal had high praise for his young star.

“We are incredibly proud of Amari’s accomplishments and the dedication and hard work that went into it.”

Drayton knew she was facing some of the best competition in the world going in, but knew what she was capable of.

“I just had to believe in myself, and believe I could do it,” Drayton said.

Going forward, Drayton looks back at the event, and uses her performance as motivation.

“It gave me a lot of confidence in myself,” Drayton said.

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