For as long as Molly Willson can remember, she’s 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.
“It’s different, it’s not like the usual sport that everyone’s in,” Willson said. “Everyone’s in basketball and those sports. It’s nice to be in something that not everyone can do because anyone can go shoot a basketball. Not anyone can flip on a floor.”
And although Willson and the rest of her Hi-Liner teammates didn’t place in any events at Saturday’s Hi-Liner Invitational at the Youth Sports Complex, it’s not like it was the easiest competition.
The Hi-Liners’ competition included Minot, Bismarck Century and Bismarck, who placed first, fourth and fifth as teams at last year’s 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 she’s hoping to parlay into the state championships early next year. It’s a meet she’s been to four times in five years, but this year she wants to place.
It’s 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.
“I was pleased,” she said.
Although the competition Saturday was plenty tough, Willson welcomed it.
“It just gives you motivation to work harder and get better,” she said.