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For as long as Molly Willson can remember, sheâs been a gymnast.
And the way Valley City High School senior looks at it, the sport has given her abilities that very few others possess.
âItâs different, itâs not like the usual sport that everyoneâs in,â Willson said. âEveryoneâs in basketball and those sports. Itâs nice to be in something that not everyone can do because anyone can go shoot a basketball. Not anyone can flip on a floor.â
And although Willson and the rest of her Hi-Liner teammates didnât place in any events at Saturdayâs Hi-Liner Invitational at the Youth Sports Complex, itâs not like it was the easiest competition.
The Hi-Linersâ competition included Minot, Bismarck Century and Bismarck, who placed first, fourth and fifth as teams at last yearâs state championship.
Willson, who finished 12th all around, was the top finisher in the category from outside those three teams.
She finished 9th in vault with 8.75 points, 10th in bars, 12th in beam and 23rd in floor.
The Hi-Liners other top scores came from Sara Gilbertson, who finished 8th in beam with 8.2 points, and Brienne Roehrich, who finished 10th in floor with 8.8 points.
But the competition, she said, gave her motivation sheâs hoping to parlay into the state championships early next year. Itâs a meet sheâs been to four times in five years, but this year she wants to place.
Itâs a goal she realizes will require plenty of work and practice, but Saturday, she reaped the rewards of her early efforts by adding a few new moves to her repertoire.
Among those was a giant swing on the bars and a full twist on the floor, which she felt went well.
âI was pleased,â she said.
Although the competition Saturday was plenty tough, Willson welcomed it.
âIt just gives you motivation to work harder and get better,â she said.