Helena Magazine

Sports Q&A: Lilly Ann Gallavan

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Lilly Ann Gallavan, 15-year-old women’s artistic gymnast, talks about making the Top 100 Gymnast list


At a recent city council meeting, you were recognized as one of the Top 100 gymnasts in America for the uneven bar. Can you tell me more about what that means? 

The Top 100 Gymnast list is a list of top scores from USAG sanctioned events at each apparatus. The list is fluid and is constantly changing as new meets are held. Any time on the list is usually short lived. I was listed in the Top 100 for the uneven bars this year following the California Grand Invitational in January. I also made the list briefly in 2023 for both uneven bars and the vault.


You’ve recently started competing at a Level 9. What has that change been like? 

The change from Level 8 to Level 9 was huge. I had to push myself harder to learn and compete the new skills required. It was very stressful, but I was fortunate to have coaches that understood and worked with me to improve.


What first inspired you to try gymnastics? How long have you been competing? 

When I was around seven or eight years old, my older sister took a recreational gymnastics class. She got a gym mat for Christmas that year and I thought it was the coolest thing. I wanted to try it. I tried it and from that point that’s all I wanted to do. I started doing gymnastics competitively about six years ago.


What achievement are you the most proud of? 

I am most proud of finishing 1st on the uneven bars at the Level 8 Regional Championship last year. I am also proud of qualifying for the Level 9 Eastern National Championship this year.


What is your favorite skill? What is your least favorite skill?

I would have to say that my favorite skill is my uneven bars dismount. It is a double tuck.

My least favorite skill is my aerial series on the balance beam.


When you’re not practicing gymnastics, how do you enjoy spending your time? 

I am home schooled through Connections Academy. I train 30 hours a week, so traditional school really doesn’t work with my training schedule. When I’m not doing gymnastics, I like to rest and spend time with my family. I also tend to my dog, Tua.


And finally, do you have any advice for those just starting gymnastics? 

I struggled with confidence early on. I learned through practice and competition that repetition was important. Repetition also taught me patience, so I would say, don’t get frustrated. Failure comes in any sport, but it’s okay. Use it and learn from it. Also, just have fun!