Kayla Williams (gymnast)
Williams on the podium at the 2009 World Championships
|Full name||Kayla Rose Williams|
|Country represented||United States|
May 8, 1993 |
Nitro, West Virginia
|Hometown||Huntington, West Virginia|
|Height||5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)|
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Level||Senior International Elite|
|Years on national team||2009|
|Gym||Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy|
|College team||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Head coach(es)||Mary Lee Tracy|
Williams began 2009 as a Level 10 gymnast, which is below elite level in USA Gymnastics. In May 2009, she won the Junior Olympic National Championships in the all-around, vault, and floor exercise and won second on balance beam. She qualified to elite level at a meet in June.
After qualifying for the U.S. Classic, she won the vault and floor exercise at that event and placed fifth in the all-around and on balance beam. This qualified her to the 2009 U.S. Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Williams was the first West Virginian since Mary Lou Retton in 1984 to compete at the U.S. Championships. At the U.S. Championships, she won the National title on vault and made the U.S. National Team as a senior elite. Two months later, Williams was named to the team for the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
At the 2009 World Championships, Williams qualified first on vault. On the night of the vault event final, she competed a handspring laidout Rudi and a Yurchenko double full for a combined score of 15.087 and won the gold medal. She is the first American gymnast to win the World vault title.
- Atkinson, Tommy R. (August 9, 2009). "Spot in nationals fulfills dream for Huntington gymnast". Charleston Gazette. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
- Atkinson, Tommy R. (October 5, 2009). "Nitro native heads to world stage". Charleston Gazette. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
- "Williams vaults to gold at worlds". ESPN. October 17, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- Traylor, Grant (May 29, 2010). "Williams going to Alabama". The Herald-Dispatch. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
- Atkinson, Tommy (July 22, 2012). "Olympic dreams swapped for NCAA title". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Gymnasts Earn Individual Top-5 Finishes at NCAA Championships
- Cline, Carrie (October 21, 2009). "Gold Medal Gymnast Kayla Williams Returns to School". WSAZ-TV. Retrieved October 17, 2011.