Local high school senior shines in state gymnastics competition

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — On the weekend of April 9, 2021, Taylor Openlander performed in one of her last competitions as a member of the Flipstarz gymnastics team.

For her first and only in-person performance, she made sure to leave everything she had out on the mat. Openlander won the 2021 West Virginia State Gymnastics championship all around. She said she could not imagine ending things in a better way.

“I’m excited to be in front of all my teammates and I am excited for them to watch me, and I just like that they look up to me. It’s a good feeling,” said Openlander.

Her mother, Wendy Openlander, is also one of her coaches. She said she experienced many emotions throughout the week.

“It’s bittersweet, lots of tears this week, lots of happiness,” said Wendy.

But this is not the last time Taylor will perform. Openlander prepared for the regional competition in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Beyond the upcoming competition, she recently committed to perform collegiately at Fairmont State University.

“They are in the Top 5 in the nation, especially for West Virginia, that is amazing and I’d like to be close to home,” said Openlander.

She also joins another former Flipstarz gymnast, Madison Tabor, at Fairmont State. Openlander said she cannot wait to perform with Tabor again, this time on the Falcons acrobatics and tumbling team.

“She is definitely my comfort zone so I am really excited to be with her next year,” said Openlander.

Openlander competes in the Region Seven Women’s Gymnastics Regional Competition Saturday April 17,. 2021 at 3 p.m.

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