Career-best performance lifts local gymnast to all-around state title

Submitted photos – Eva Cox, left, and Anna McLaughin.

Two local gymnasts from the Redwood Coast Gymnastics Team traveled to compete at the recent 2022 state gymnastics championships and both turned in career-best performances on their way to qualifying for this year’s regional tournament in Utah.

Eureka’s Anna McLaughlin, according to her coach Brian Van Pelt, “had a barnstormer of a meet” and placed first in the Level 6 Senior E all-around competition.

The 15-year-old scored a career-high 36.625 points and won a silver medal on the bars and bronze medals in both the vault and the beam.

She also tied for seventh in the floor competition.

“Anna is a very aggressive gymnast. She’s very bold and brave and she goes for stuff a lot,” Van Pelt said. “And it was great to see that rewarded.”

McLaughlin’s teammate Eva Cox also had an outstanding meet.

The 15-year-old from Eureka placed fifth on the beam and sixth on the vault, barely missing out on as podium finish in each of them, and also had a career-best points total in the all-around competition.

Competing in the Level 6 Senior G bracket, Cox scored 36.10 points and placed eighth overall.

“Eva did great,” Van Pelt said. “Just a year ago she was a level 4 gymnast and she’s moved up. She’s a very clean gymnast. She’s very refined, especially with her dance.”

Both local gymnasts will now advance to next month’s Regional competition in Salt Lake City.

“Overall, the coaches were exceptionally pleased with how Eva and Anna performed,” Van Pelt said. “They were able to maintain their focus and display their best skills in high level competition. These girls and their teammates train 8-12 hours per week in Eureka and are very dedicated to their sport.”  

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