Local gymnast tumbles her way into state | TheUnion.com

Local gymnast tumbles her way into state

Golf Country Gymnastics' Sierra Payne works on her beam routine. Payne will be competing in the California state competition Sunday in Petaluma.
Submitted photo by Tom Capozzo |

Local gymnast and Lyman Gilmore sixth-grader Sierra Payne has been honing her skills since she was 4 years old. But, it wasn’t until this year that she put her talent on display at competitions — she’s been wowing judges ever since.

In her first season of competitive gymnastics, Payne has earned herself a spot in Sunday’s California State gymnastics competition at Redwood Empire Gymnastics in Petaluma.

Payne finished third in her most recent competition, scoring a 36.35 all-around at the Halloween Jamboree in Oroville. It was her best performance of the season and she scored 9.0 or higher in all of her events.

Payne said her best event is bars, but she really enjoys the floor exercise.

“I seem to always do best on bars even though its my least favorite event, and I think my favorite is floor,” she said.

One of Payne’s greatest assets is her nerves of steel. The Gold Country gymnast said she isn’t the least bit nervous for the upcoming competition.

“I thought I would be nervous but I’m actually not,” she said.

Payne credits her meteoric rise in gymnastics to her love for the sport and her coaches at Gold Country Gymnastics Kara Bennett, Kelly Grow, Alexis LaCentra, Kristyn Carl and Jessi Gonzalez.

“Before the competing season started I remember getting more and more skills,” Payne said. “When I got the last skill that I needed I knew that I was ready to compete in everything.”

This is just the beginning for Payne, as she said she wants to compete in the upcoming season that starts in January.

“I want to keep doing it as long as I can,” She said. “It’s fun. I don’t like to sit and just do nothing.”

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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