BOONSBORO, Md. (WDVM) – Splits Gymnastics in Boonsboro had two gymnasts place in the USA Gymnastics Maryland state competition in earlier this month, with one gymnast even winning the entire state of Maryland.
“We’ve had girls win state individual events, but never one winning the entire state,” said Splits owner Joanna Horine.
Katie O’Neill, age nine, and Jordan Blair, age seven, both competed in the state competition at Level 2 for Splits.
Kate shined at the state competition earning a 9.925 score for her floor routine, which propelled her to winning the state title.
“I was really happy and excited that all the hard work I did did good and I won state champion,” said Kate.
Kate didn’t even know if she was going to be able to compete at states this year after an injury set her out for six weeks.
“I’m a worry wart,” admitted Kate’s mom, Jen O’Neill. “I’m always worried that she’s going to get hurt and sure enough she ended up doing a skill and she fell on her elbow and got injured.”
Kate went through physical therapy and took some private lessons to get her caught up with her skills to prepare her and to build up her confidence leading up to states.
“It’s just unbelievable,” said O’Neill. ” I know that she loves gymnastics so much. It’s her passion.”
“I’m just so proud of her that she’s doing what she loves.”
Jordan Blair earned the state title among her age group of seven year olds competing at Level 2.
“It was good and also, I’m just proud of myself,” said Jordan.
Both girls have big dreams, and share the same role model in the sport.
“I want to move up to every single level until I basically go up to the level where Simone Biles is,” said Kate.
Biles is Jordan’s favorite as well.
“She’s really tight and she can do a lot of stuff,” explained Jordan.
At just the ages of nine and seven, these girls already know what it takes to be the best, putting in long hours at the gym, going at least three days a week for three hour sessions.
“They work so hard,” said Jordan’s mom, Jolie Blair. “Their disciple, their encouragement of each other…it doesn’t feel like work because they absolutely love it.”