H54K: Columbia County 10-year-old takes first all around in southeast gymnastics

H54K: Gymnastics Best All Around

EVANS, Ga. (WFXG) - A Columbia County 10-year-old is one of the best gymnasts in the U.S. Lillian Wilkes won first place all around for the entire southeast region of the country in her division, and she’s this week’s High 5 4 Kids honoree.

“I won regionals, which means I beat all the girls in my age division in eight states,” Wilkes said.

She took the first place title for best all around, meaning she had to bring it consistently in a number of events. She's been training in gymnastics since the age of 3.

She practices at Hayden's International Gymnastics Academy. The school has been represented at regionals every year for the past 25 year's. She's the second person there to bring home the all round banner, and the first in her division.

This is my first year to actually have a region 8, like first year competing at regionals and I won it, and I really think that’s really cool," Wilkes said. "I really, really didn’t expect it."

"Lillian works really hard," her coach, Craig Kirby said. "She’s very easy to coach, and she pretty much does everything we ask of her and she’s very driven."

Just as it takes consistency in skills to place first in competition, she said it takes consistency in attitude at practice to "stick it" on a new skill.

"There’s a lot of mental blocks and a lot of hard stuff," she said. "You’re going to cry; you’re going to laugh; you’re going to have fun. It’s more of hard work and never give up,"

“Lillian don’t ever give up,” Kirby said, “because you have great skills, and a great personality that will take you very far.”

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