Magnificat’s Kmiecik claims state all-around title

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Kayla Kmiecik carried on the Rocky River Magnificat gymnastics
tradition in February becoming the 12th Blue Streaks gymnast to win the
all-around state championship. Kmiecik won gold medals in the uneven parallel bars and the floor
exercise and placed second in the balance beam and fourth place in the
vault to score 37.825 points to claim the all-around title as well as
Huntington Bank/Ohio High Gymnast of the Year honors.


Kayla Kmiecik carried on the Rocky River Magnificat gymnastics tradition in February becoming the 12th Blue Streaks gymnast to win the all-around state championship.

Kmiecik won gold medals in the uneven parallel bars and the floor exercise and placed second in the balance beam and fourth place in the vault to score 37.825 points to claim the all-around title as well as Huntington Bank/Ohio High Gymnast of the Year honors.

“To win three gold medals in my senior year, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending,” Kmiecik told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

Kmiecik previously won two state titles in the uneven bars before claiming the elusive all-around title this year.

“At the end of last year, if anyone had asked who I thought the state all-around title would go to I would have said Kayla,” Magnificat head coach Joe Gura said. “She was going to win or someone was going to have to beat her to win it.

“She knew that also and handled the pressure of being the one that everyone pointed the finger to.”

Kmieck has worked hard since her freshman year to follow in the long line great gymnasts that have gone through Magnificat, according to Gura.

“Our slogan is ‘Tradition Never Graduates’ and when she was a freshman there were juniors and seniors that did the same thing for her. They were role models for her.

“I think a lot of (her success) comes from watching other girls that have been successful. She was handed the torch her sophomore year and she’s moved on from there. It has been apparent each year since that she has shown great leadership qualities.”

And Kmiecik’s leadership was obvious this year as freshman teammate Kelly Notz finished second in the all-around category at the state tournament with a 37.625 score.

“(Kmiecik) tried to pull (Notz) alongside her and tried to get her to be more consistent, which she ended up doing,” said Gura. “She filled her role that way as far as being a leader and being a role model.

He added, “She’s somewhat of a quiet individual but she does lead by example. She always tells the girls that they are doing well and gives them pointers to fix things or increase their difficulty. She’s always in a positive state.”

Kmiecik, a 4.1 GPA student, has accepted a scholarship to Ball State and will be competing for the Cardinals. She spends 50 weeks a year training and has since she was six years old.

“I expect her to do very well and to be a successful young lady down the road,” Gura said.

Said Kayla’s father Tom Kmiecik: “Our family is pretty athletic. Her brother plays golf (in college) and I played basketball, but no one in the fiamly has the drive and passion Kayla does. She’s above everyone else.”

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