By Anthony Rhoads
Kara Scott is only 8-years old but she has already won an all-around state championship in gymnastics.
Scott captured the all-around title in the Level 5 Georgia State Championships held Dec. 5-7 at Dream It Gymnastics in Tifton.
Scott was part of the team from Ultimate Dream Academy out of McDonough. Two of her teammates also came away with state titles including Jamie Roth (Level 5 state bar and beam state champion) and Brittany Elliott (Level 5 state beam champion).
Ultimate Dream Academy was the only team south of Atlanta to advance to the team finals.
"Their accomplishments have been phenomenal," Ultimate Dream Academy head coach Tara Boone said. "They have total dedication. They have the attitude ?I want to be here and I want to work hard.'"
Scott, a third grader from Hickory Flat Elementary, has moved up quickly in the world of gymnastics. She is already at Level 5 (with Level 10 being the highest level) and expects to possibly move up two levels next year. Roth and Elliott are also moving up quickly.
"That's a magnificent feat to be as young as she is and to come up as fast as she has," Boone said. "They're ready for the next level. It is almost unheard of that they maybe will move up two levels."
Being able to compete in gymnastics takes dedication and the girls usually practice up to five days a week for 12-20 hours per week.
All three girls have the goal to compete nationally and their ultimate dream is to compete in the Olympics.
Ultimate Dream Academy has a total of about 500 students and has been open for about a year.
Most of the students are girls but the sport is becoming more popular with boys. Even though no boys are on competition teams, about 50-60 boys are students at the academy.
"It is becoming more popular with boys," Boone said. "It helps them in other sports because gymnastics are the foundation of other sports. It enhances their flexibility and coordination for other activities."