Central freshman takes second in gymnastics state championships

Apr. 23—THOMASVILLE — Despite not having participated in gymnastics in five years and only training in her vault of choice on Monday, Thomas County Central freshman Gina Morabito took second in vault in the GHSA gymnastics state championships on Friday.

Morabito, a freshman and tremendous athlete who also plays softball for the Yellow Jackets, had an astonishing performance in the GHSA gymnastics state championships.

The vault that she had been performing all year with was not one that would win her a title. So, Morabito decided to change her routine and began practicing the new vault the Monday before the state meet.

She qualified for the finals in preliminaries with the vault on Wednesday, beating out 45 other athletes just two days after learning it. Two days after that, Morabito competed in the finals against 30 athletes and secured a 9.9 on her vault that she had just learned less than a week earlier and earned second place.

A perfect 10 was required to top Morabito from the first place athlete, who is a senior and committed to Penn for gymnastics.

"It's huge for our program that she made it that far, but she honestly has done the work to get there," said Thomas County Central gymnastics coach Carson Kimbrell. "She never missed a day of practice. She came in and did what she needed to do. She just is an all-around phenomenal athlete."

Morabito did club gymnastics under Kimbrell when she was younger, but had not competed in the sport in five years. Once Kimbrell took over the Central gymnastics program, Morabito decided to get back in the gym. Now, after one year back in the sport and a week of practice with a new vault routine, Morabito made the podium in the state championship

"I foresee her being an all-around champion by the time she's a senior," Kimbrell said.