Hannah Helferich tried to make the most of her time at the AAU Junior Olympics Gymnastics meet in Des Moines, Iowa; but you could tell there was a little bit of disappointment in her voice at not placing first in any of the events she competed in as she talked about her accomplishments.


Hannah Helferich tried to make the most of her time at the AAU Junior Olympics Gymnastics meet in Des Moines, Iowa; but you could tell there was a little bit of disappointment in her voice at not placing first in any of the events she competed in as she talked about her accomplishments.
Still a tie for third place in the all-around, plus two second places and a third in apparatus events is something Helferich is proud of recording at the national meet.
“I knew I was going to be better than I did last year because in levels two through six, everyone does the same thing,” Helferich said. “From then on, you can make up your own routines, so I knew I was going to do better than I did last year.
“This definitely does (give me more motivation for next year). It makes me want to try new things and harder things next year.”
That motivation, plus what Hannah called a bribe from her mother, Rose, to do well helped pushed the El Dorado freshman as she competed at the national level.
Helferich finished the all-around with a 35.85. five-hundreths behind second place and .175 behind the winner in the final standings.
One of Helferich’s two second place finishes occurred on her favorite event, the balance beam. Helferich scored a 9.4 in that event, but a .025 behind the winner; so she was happy with her score, but mad that she didn’t win the event.
She also finished second in the floor exercise with a 9.55 score; and third in the vault with an 8.95.
“I just did the best I could and gave it my all,”?Helferich said about her score in the floor. When it came to the vault, Helferich said: “I’m more of a power person. I have some flexibility, but not as much as I could have for a person.
“When it comes to the floor and the vault, I’m working on arm strength where I do push ups and press handstands.”