Before Lilly Pruett had a chance to show what she can do at her first United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs national competition in Florida, she saw her friend and training partners' dreams of gold crash in front of her.
Katherine Magill, 16, competing out of Gold Country Gymnastics along with Pruett, fell during her bar routine, dislocating her elbow and removing her from competition, said Magill's mother Pamela Magill.
The injury is especially painful because Katherine Magill had battled through strep throat at the 2011 national competition and still managed a fourth-place finish overall. This year she was looking forward to competing at full-strength, Pamela Magill said.
"It was probably the most beautiful bar routine I had seen until she fell," Pamela Magill said. "But, (Katherine Magill's) not quitting, she's determined to compete again."
As for Pruett, 14, she said it was upsetting to see her friend fall.
"I was a little shaken up at the beginning," Pruett said. "But I pushed it out of my head and did pretty well after that."
Pruett, competing in the Platinum Division against gymnasts from all over the world, went on to earn a silver medal on the vault, her favorite event, a bronze on the beam and finished fifth-overall.
"I wasn't surprised with my results," Pruett said. "But I was really happy with them.
"I really enjoyed competing against people from all around the world."
Despite a top-five finish overall and a pair of medals for individual events, Pruett said she could have done better if she had put in more practice time.
She is also unsure if she will move up from the Platinum Division to the Premiere Division, which is what Katherine Magill competes in and is the highest division in USAIGC gymnastics.
"Kara (Bennett) is such a good coach," Pruett said. "She'll probably have me at Premiere by next year."
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4232.