Gymnast, 8, top finisher in state, region

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CUMMING, Ga. — A Cumming athlete has earned top-three finishes in three gymnastics competitions this year: Georgia State, Spring Fling International and South East Region.

Katherine Steckel, 8, won the all-around Level 3 competition at the 2013 Georgia State Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship held in Miami, Fla., on March 23.

Steckel followed that up with three first-place finishes in ball, rope and floor, and won the championship title for her whole Level 3 at Spring Fling International held in Columbus, Ohio, on April 5.

The final competition was the USA Region 6 Championship held in Atlanta, Ga., on April 20, where Steckel placed first in all three disciplines and had the highest score for her whole level. Steckel is trained by coach Olga Aganesova at the Prima Rhythmic Gymnastics Club in Cumming.

In the new season starting this month, Steckel, a third-grader at McGinnis Woods Country Day School in Cumming, skipped a level and is going to compete at Level 5 to earn more gold medals for the state, said her mother Tanya Steckel.

Steckel trains six days a week, three-and-a-half hours each day after school.