LA GRANGE, Ill. (CBS) — It is very rare to be a major to be a major contributor right away in high school sports, let alone a prolific performer.
As CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke tells us, a Lyons Township gymnast as catapulted her team to a berth in next week’s state finals.
Kelsy Kurfirst was always jumping around as a little 4-year old, but her gymnastics career actually started out because of ballet.
“I had a lot of energy and the only part of ballet I liked was jumping around on these little dots so my mom thought she would try to put me in gymnastics. She said I was like a little monkey when I was younger,” Kelsy says.
And, it was obvious early on what type of gymnast Kelsy would be.
“I am more of a powerful gymnast opposed to a flexible dancy gymnast,” she adds.
Now Kelsy has been turning heads all season at Lyons Township High School and she’s only a freshman. She seems soft and sweet but she got a different side when she competes. She’s won the all-around individual titles in eight of the nine meets she’s competed in, including sectionals.
“All four events – vault, bars, beam and floor – she’s solid, equally strong, equally confident. She’s very mature, got a great head on her shoulders and that is where she has impressed me the most,” says Lyons gymnastics coach Kari Karubas.
Team comes first for Kelsy. Lyons is only one of eight teams who made it to Palatine, but she’s also hoping to score big individually and surprise some contenders who haven’t seen her since she is only a freshman.
“I know there will be some amazing competition there, some amazing routines and lots of talents but I think me and my team will do great. I think by state we’re going to go in and see what we can do,” says Kurfirst.
“She is not at all capped, there is more there which we are going to see in the future which is amazing,” adds Coach Karubas.
Besides being led by a freshman, the success of the Lyons Township gymnastics team is really special considering they only have five girls on the team which is the minimum number and just one injury could keep them from competing. The risk is very high since most teams have seven or eight gymnasts.