Growing up in Montara, Kate Nelson could hardly wait to start gymnastics. Her mother, Marian Lacey, remembers a time when 4-year-old Nelson was watching her older sister’s practice at Gymtowne in Moss Beach. The little girl was literally jumping around on the side, unable to contain her excitement.
“One of the coaches came up and said, ‘Kate, would you like to come out and do this?’ She just ran out onto the floor,” her mom said. “She was off to a good start.”
That was the beginning of many years dedicated to the sport of gymnastics, starting with preschool classes at Gymtowne all the way to the Junior Olympics program during high school.
Nelson is now a sophomore at Brown University and recently added the title of first team All-American in uneven bars to her long list of achievements. She won the prestigious title as one of the top five competitors in her session at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championship finals on April 14 in Bridgeport, Conn.
There are four events in women’s gymnastics: floor, vault, balance beam, and uneven bars. Nelson trains in all four, but she definitely shines on bars, said her coach at Brown, Sara Carver-Milne.
“She has a really dynamic routine,” she said. “She does a release move that not many people do. It is unique and exciting.”
Nelson also conquered that nemesis of many a gymnast: sticking the landing.
“That really put an exclamation mark on her routine,” said Carver-Milne.