ELIZABETHTOWN — A broken arm hardly slowed Shelby Smith in her quest for gymnastics excellence.
The 10-year-old rising sixth-grader at Elizabethtown Middle School is a member of the Lumberton Gymnastics Academy competition team, and she is arguably one of LGA’s top performers.
During her first year of competition with LGA, Smith earned a total of 28 medals — including a number of first-place finishes in regional all-around competitions.
But after her first competition season ended, Smith suffered a broken arm.
“She hardly slowed down,” said Paige Smith, Shelby’s mother. “She continued to condition with the team, even though she couldn’t do any skills training for 10 weeks.”
When the next competition season opened, Smith was ready. Competing at the Bronze Level, Smith picked right up where she’d left off before her injury — winning 33 medals and two trophies overall.
In her first competition since the broken arm, which was at the Tiger paw at Clemson University in January, Smith earned five medals and a first-place in the all-around.
Her next competition was at the Greensboro Invitational in March, where she claimed another five medals and was third in the all-around.
Also in March, Smith competed in the St. Patrick’s Invitational in Raleigh, where she earned four medals and a first-place trophy in the all-around competition.
Smith’s fourth competition of the season was held at Heidi Trask High School in Rocky Point, where she won four medals and finished second in the all-around category. Shortly after, Smith competed in Burlington, where she earned five more medals and took first place in the all-around.
In early May, Smith traveled to Mooresville for the 2014 Bronze & Silver State Meet, where she earned five medals. She also took first place in the all-around, becoming the N.C. Bronze champion for her age division and qualified for the regional competition in Hickory.
That regional competition, with competitors from eight states, was held May 17 — and Smith took five medals, including first place in the all-around, which gave her the 2014 Bronze Regional championship.
“Shelby is now training for the next competition season, where she will compete at the Silver Level,” Paige Smith said.
Smith is the daughter of Kelvin and Paige Smith, as well as the granddaughter of Lenon and Diane Fisher.