Victoria, Texas - For the second time this month, Manning Gymnastics, providing our Athlete Of The Week. Competing at State championships in Allen, Texas level six optional gymnast Madison Kurth took first place on the balance beam to win her second gold of the season. Kurth told me the support system at Manning extends well beyond the gym.
"They've shaped me into the person I am today. All the coaches and staff are amazing, and my teammates are awesome too."
Competing with optionals for the first time this year, Madison and the Manning team have made some major strides. After a high finish of 8th a season ago, the 15-year old Kurth won on the beam at the NOLA Invitational in January, then followed it up with gold in Allen. She coupled the act with top five finishes on the uneven bars and all around .
"I feel like I've improved a lot, especially mentally. With all my encouraging teammates and coaches."
Said head coach Beth Perez, "Oh she's gone from 0 to 100. Her determination has gotten her so far, and she has thrown all of her skills -- from mental blocks and not feeling well -- she always comes into practice 100%."
Kurth now turns her focus to next year's level 7 competitions -- and a chance to prove that growth at regionals. It's a prospect she knows she's ready for.
"It's really exciting to be able to eventually go to regionals. Because I've only been able to go to state. So to be able to do this is really exciting."
Perez contends the next year will go a long way in illustrating Kurth's dedication -- and her potential.
"I'm excited to see how far she's willing to push herself. Because it's going to take a lot to get to where she wants to be, it's going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. But I'm excited to see how far she's willing to push herself."
If trajectory is any indication, it sure seems she has what it takes. Sean Coffey, Newscenter 25 Sports.