A former Chicago high school gymnastics coach says his daughter’s “incredible” performance on Saturday will go down as one of the most impressive feats of athleticism in the state’s history.
Kelly Tackett, a member of the Chicago gymnastics team, was one of four gymnasts competing in the Illinois High School National Championships.
Her performance drew praise from Illinois coach Chris McClellan.
“Her performance today was a huge reason why I wanted to be here,” McClellans said after the competition.
“She’s one of those girls that’s been through a lot of hard times, so her athleticism and her dedication to the sport of gymnastics have really shown up in her.”
“We are very proud of her.”
McClanan was joined on stage by the head coach of the gymnastics squad, Kelly Poulsen, and Tacketts father, Steve, to watch the gymnasts finish in a record time.
McClellan said he had a “great sense of how amazing this girl is” as a result of the performance.
“We have an incredible young gymnast,” he said.
“We have a little girl who’s in this sport for 14 years and it’s just a beautiful moment.”
McCollins said he wanted to thank his wife, Melissa, for the support of their family, as well as the other coaches and the Illinois high school team.
“I just want to thank everyone who’s been there to support her,” he told reporters.
“And we’re proud of the whole team.”
Illinois won the competition and McCleland said the team will look to keep up the momentum going forward.
“This team is going to continue to grow, keep growing,” he added.