‘Vault of a lifetime’ propels Olathe Northwest gymnast

10/30/2013 12:14 PM

10/30/2013 12:14 PM

Jessie Payne had quite a weekend at the Kansas high school gymnastics state meet, and lucky for Olathe Northwest, she’s just a sophomore.

Payne led the Ravens to a second place finish by winning the all-around title with a score of 36.975 in the competition at Olathe North High School. In doing so, she won both the uneven parallel bars with a score of 9.2 and the vault with 9.7 points, tying the second-best score in event history.

“It felt great to win the all-around,” Payne said. “We’ve been working really hard, and I’ve been working really hard.”

As for her outstanding vault performance, Payne said that came as a pleasant surprise.

“I honestly didn’t even know I could do that,” she said. “I made the vault of a lifetime.”

With two more years to go, Payne said her next goal is to help the Ravens to a team title.

“Second place was great, and I didn’t even know our team could do that," she said. "But I think first is a really good goal next year for both me and the team.”

In addition to winning state titles, she has been bringing attention to the Olathe Northwest gymnastics program by writing articles for their website for her sports information director class.

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