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Young Achiever's Spotlight

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- She's only been competing for one season, but there's an eleven year old gymnast here in Cenla who's already picking up some major wins. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton introduces us to a gymnast from Ruby Wise Elementary School on this week's Young Achiever's Spotlight.

Kylee Jones's mother Kim says her daughter has always been a natural athlete, playing softball and competing on her school's fitness team, but about a year and a half ago Kylee decided to try a new sport.

"She was always doing flips, back walkovers. She could already do back hand springs and things like that," says mom Kimberly Barber.

The eleven year old gymnast began studying her sport at Red River Gymnastics in Pineville- and she's already begun to quickly climb the ranks.

"She was one of those that as soon as she came in we knew we needed to get her moved up because she was so athletic. She started at like the very beginning level in January and then by March she was on the team and by November she was competing," says Robyn Ladner, manager of Red River Gymnastics.

And although she's not as outgoing for the camera as she is for the judges table...

"That I get to learn more stuff," says Kylee.

She's in her comfort zone when her feet hit that blue mat.

"She's so shy but then we she gets on the floor, all of a sudden this different person comes out," says Ladner.

In fact, in her very first competition season Kylee racked up several wins.

"The LA Cup, because I won every event except for floor and I got first all-around," adds Kylee.

Including a couple of big ones- in Kylee's age group she placed second all-around in the state and was also the state champion on the vault.

"Gymnastics is a very difficult sport and you have to be very detailed with all your routines and Kylee's done a good job with picking up on the routines," adds Ladner.

Kylee's a young achiever who may be quiet in conversation, but who's loud when it comes to competitions.

"Every meet she comes out and competes really well," adds Barber.

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News Channel 5 is looking for oustanding young people to feature in our Young Achiever's Spotlight. If you know of a young person that excels in their studies, extra-cirricular activities, in their church or community, or is doing something good- nominate them! We're always looking for unique kids to feature in our segment.

To nominate a student contact Rachael Penton at rpenton@kalb.com or 483-4245. Tell us what makes your nominee a young achiever. Don't forget to leave your contact information.

***Students in grades six and up are eligible. All young achiever's must be willing and able to do an on-camera interview.

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