Morrison enjoys first competitive tumbling season

Kayci Woodley
Emiliah Morrison, of Orion, poses in her yard with her trophies and medals she won in her first competitive tumbling season.

At just 7 years old, Emiliah Morrison has decided what she loves doing most. Power tumbling, a sport for all ages, is what makes her happy.

At age 2, Morrison began dance and ballet classes but decided to shift solely to tumbling in the past year.

In her first season as a competitive tumbler, Morrison competed in two of the three power tumbling events and brought home two state medals.

At the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) state meet in Bloomington on May 16, the Orion native placed fifth on her trampoline pass and seventh on the double mini-trampoline routine. Morrison competed in the beginners bracket, in the 6- and 7-year-old age group.

In Morrison’s primary year with the Quad City Extreme Athletics team, her coach, Brooke Bennett, encouraged her to participate in Level 1 competition. Bennett pushed Morrison, like many of the other young gymnasts, to be as successful as possible.

After Morrison’s first meet in Kewanee, she was eager to compete again. Morrison placed third in the meet against competitors with up to three more years of experience than she had.

Placing in her first competitive meet gave Morrison a chance to enter the state competition in Bloomington, which was her second meet ever.

As most tumblers are, Morrison is very flexible, but something she hopes to work on in the future is perfecting her tricks and learning new ones. Some of her passes on the mini-trampoline this season included straights, straddles, pikes and toe-touches.

A straight is simply a straight-armed, body and leg jump, while a pike involves keeping the legs and arms straight in front while the tumbler keeps his or her hands close to their feet. A straddle jump, similar to a pike, involves the arms and legs spread wide.

Even at such a young age, Emiliah can be hard on herself, according to her mother Kelly, and has high expectations at competitions. In other activities she has participated in, Emiliah even watched tapes of herself and commented on minor details and ways she could have improved.

The incoming second grader at C.R. Hanna Elementary School enjoys the mini-vacation times that come with traveling to different places for meets. She loves the challenges and competition that each meet has to offer.

Emiliah is the daughter of Brian and Kelly Morrison of Orion. Being one of four children, she often has to share the spotlight with her three brothers, but at tumbling competitions it’s Emiliah time.