With her health as good as its been all season, Erika Richardson should have her best showing Saturday in the Ohio State Gymnastics Championship at Hilliard Bradley High School.
“She is in the best shape she’s been in all season and should be able to hit a clean set on Saturday,” said Richardson’s coach Stacey Bailey. “State is the icing on the cake. For Erika, it is a fantastic way to end a tremendous gymnastics career of over a decade. It has been my privilege to coach her.”
Richardson, a senior at Blanchester High School, will be competing in the state meet in the uneven parallel bars. She is a three-time state qualifier in the bars.
But the state tournament nearly wasn’t a reality for Richardson this season.
“Just a few weeks before the competition season was about to start, I dislocated by knee again for the second time since the summer of 2014,” she said. “Other than that, I feel pretty healthy.”
Richardson posted an career best 8.575 score on the bars and finished fourth in the district competition.
“I feel that I could have improved my score by adding a higher level of difficulty to my dismount,” she admitted.
Her goal coming into the season was to advance to the state tournament in the all-around competition. She came up short.
“I competed the rest of my events to the best of my ability, but there were a few minor complications during my beam routine,” Richardson said.
Richardson is a student in the rehabilitation and therapy programs at Live Oaks Joint Vocational School. She also helps Blanchester trainer Amanda Schutte in the evenings.
The BHS senior plans to attend the University of Cincinnati and major in health and exercise sciences. She said she does not plan to participate in track or gymnastics at UC, but would like be a cheerleader for the Bearcats.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.