Nine-year-old Deborah Shaw has nerves of steel. At least it seems that way to her mother, Stephanie.
The third grader at Collegeville Elementary School has been competing in USA Gymnastics since she was 7. Every year, she has won a State title.But this year was different,” Stephanie Shaw said.
“When Deborah competed at age 7, Level 5 only one other girl her age qualified at her level,” she related. “When she competed at age 8, Level 6, no other girls her age qualified at her level. Deborah won just by qualifying for the state meet. This year, she had competition.”
And she wound up placing first in beam, first in bars and first in the all-around with a third-place finish on the vault and the floor exercise.
“Deborah started this season two steps back,” noted her mother. “She tore her tendon in her knee, which is very rare for a child her age. She spent six weeks in rehab in order to compete by the first meet of the season.
“All through this meet season, Deborah has been competing against a group of the same girls,” she continued. “She has won against them sometimes and they have beaten her sometimes.”
The youngster, a straight A student, competed in the Arkansas USA Gymnastics State Meet on March 20 at the Stephens Center in Little Rock.