QLD REP: Grace Humphries will represent Qld at the National Championships next week.
QLD REP: Grace Humphries will represent Qld at the National Championships next week. Jann Houley

Humphries to represent Qld at National gymnastics comp

GYMNASTICS: Sixteen-year-old Grace Humphries will be joining the Gymnastics Queensland squad at the National Championships in Melbourne next week, as the only girl from regional Queensland.

After a successful campaign at the State Championships in Brisbane during the Easter holidays, Humphries was hand-picked amongst the top eight gymnasts with the highest scores across the two days.

Humphries will be moving up to the hardest level, level 10, after impressing last year at the event, where she returned with a gold medal and delivered strong apparatus finals.

"We train five times a week, four hours each session, except one morning where it's an hour and a half,” she said.

"This year I'll be competing against girls who have been in level 10 for a few years so it's a much more mature competition.

"I got a few medals last year but I'm just hoping to do my best and hopefully come away with a few medals and see how I go.

"I'm hoping the Queensland team will be able to get a gold in the team event.”

Humphries said the top scores out of the national competition will count towards the Queensland team score.

"Everyone competes on every apparatus in the team event,” she said.

"My favourite apparatus, depending on the day, is probably the beam at the moment.

"Most of the girls in my team, I competed with last year as well. It will be good.

"There's also a few that have already done level 10 who will be doing it again.”

Humphries said the selection was a "really good achievement” for not only herself and her club, Victoria Park Gymnast and Trampoline Club, but for Rockhampton.

"It's going to be a really tough competition,” she said.

Humphries will also be the only competitor to have her points count towards her team.

WAG head coach Kaylin Norris said this was a "huge achievement” for the young gymnast, the club and the region, particularly being outside the South-East area.

"I knew Grace had the opportunity and the ability to do it,” Norris said.

"Day one (at States) was a bit of a rocky starts but on day two she hit all the apparatus and score all she could score.

"She did really well and day two put her on top which was really exciting for her.”

Norris will be feeling the nerves right alongside Humphries when she heads off for a four-day training camp in Brisbane today before the event.

"Some gymnasts have been in the team five or six years so she's new in the team,” Norris said.

"For her, she's just got to go out and hit her routines the best she can like she's been doing in training and like she did at states and that's all we can hope for really.

"If you're able to do that successfully, you're rewarded with medals, rather than worrying how you stand amongst the crowd.

"It's quite rigorous and there's a lot of high expectations to perform well and prove your worth on the Queensland team.

"Level ten is a huge division and there's a lot of athletes in there, 80 athletes.”