Ba­tol scores per­fect 10 in Boise

HPA fifth-grader at home at re­gional

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS - By J.R. DE GROOTE

KAILUA-KONA — All the way in Idaho, Molly Ba­tol felt right at home on the bal­ance beam.

Ba­tol scored a per­fect 10 in the event while in Boise ear­lier this month, a high­light of an event­ful re­gional meet for the Hawaii Prepara­tory Academy 5th grader and Kona Aeri­als gym­nast.

Ba­tol — a Level 8 gym­nast — was part of the Hawaii All-Star team at the event. Other states rep­re­sented in the Re­gional meet were Wash­ing­ton, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Mon­tana and Ore­gon.

“It was very ex­cit­ing be­cause ev­ery­body there looked ex­cited and was cheer­ing loudly and dressed in pink be­cause that was our team color,” Ba­tol said. “They were all yelling and danc­ing hula and blow­ing on the pupu shells and some dads were even drum­ming on the trash cans.”

In­di­vid­u­ally, Ba­tol fin­ished sec­ond over­all at the event, com­bin­ing her scores from the beam, bars, vault and floor events. As a team, the Hawaii All-Stars fin­ished third.

“The most mem­o­rable part was when I saw that I got a 10 on beam at the team com­pe­ti­tion,” Ba­tol said, men­tion­ing she got a cow­boy hat for the achieve­ment. “I like the beam be­cause it is fun to chal­lenge my­self to tum­ble on it and try to stay on.”

Just to make the Hawaii team was a big ac­com­plish­ment by Ba­tol. She was the only out­er­is­land gym­nast to make the squad, get­ting the coach’s at­ten­tion when she posted a per­sonal best all-around score of 37.125 at the qual­i­fy­ing state meet in March.

“I was very ex­cited and amazed I could do it,” she said. “I was also very proud and su­per ex­cited be­cause I went to an in­vi­ta­tional last year as a Level 7 and watched last year’s Level 8 team com­pete and I knew it was go­ing to be su­per mem­o­rable.”

Ba­tol said she has been do­ing gym­nas­tics since she was 2 years old, af­ter her mom spot­ted an ad­ver­tise­ment in the news­pa­per. She has stuck with it since then, and cred­ited many peo­ple for her ever-grow­ing list of achieve­ments in the sport.

“I want to say thank you to my team­mates and coach Nanette, coach Rhonda and coach Sierra from Kona Aeri­als who were with me ev­ery step of the way and cheer­ing for me dur­ing prac­tice so I could get the feel of re­gion­als,” Ba­tol said.

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