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Gymnast-a-Cats Win First State Title in 40 Years, Head to Regionals

Bainbridge, GA - Melynda Murkerson has been coaching gymnastics in Bainbridge since 1966. She was there when the city last won a state title 39 years ago. so, when her girls captured state gold last month, she was overwhelmed with emotions.

"Actually this one was sweeter because it was so long - see you got me tearing up," she said. "These girls have worked so hard."

They're called the Gymnast-a-Cats and they beat out 50 teams in Georgia at the Prep-Op 1 level.

"It was very exciting. We were like all in shock," said Caroline Middleton, a member of the team.

"I felt really good and I felt like I was doing my best," said Emily Chambers, another member of the team. "As long as I'm doing my best I feel very confident in myself and I think everybody else was, too."

"It feels really good. It feels like we actually accomplished something," said Gabby Hardee, another member of the team. "We accomplished a lot."

Their accomplishments are won in a gym no more than 4,000 square feet.

"We are a very small gym. We're probably one of the smallest in Georgia," Murkerson said.

But it hasn't stopped them from competing and making Bainbridge proud.

"We know we're doing something good for the city," Murkerson said. "We just hope they're as proud of us as we are of our state title."

The Gymnast-a-Cats will compete in an eight-team regional tournament this weekend in Fort Myers, Florida. They were selected to represent Team Georgia, a collection of the Top 25 girls in the state.


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