Prep gymnastics

Morgan Township's Maxwell makes an immediate impact

2013-01-20T18:00:00Z 2013-01-22T05:16:04Z Morgan Township's Maxwell makes an immediate impactJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
January 20, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Even at an early age, gymnastics was part of Kylee Mazwell's life. Maxwell was active in "Mommy and Me" classes when she was just 18 months old.

"I'd crawl around and flip with my mom," Maxwell said. "I thought gymnastics was for me."

She started competitive gymnastics in second grade. The Morgan Township freshman had a head-turning, all-around score of 38.1 in her initial high school meet, a quadrangular on Jan. 8 at Hobart. The all-around win was part of her event sweep.

"I was told that I have the ability," said Maxwell, who scored 9.7 on both vault and bars, 9.5 on floor and 9.2 on beam. "I just wasn't expecting as high of scores."

In the performance, she defeated two gymnasts with state meet experience: Chesterton's Brandi Tuzinski and Washington Township's Cassidy Feldsien.

"I think it helped that they were there," Maxwell said. "It motivated me, because I've seen that they've done very well. I just wanted to do good, too."

Maxwell, just a one-person team, travels with the Hobart squad. She trains at Indiana Elite Gymnastics, where she's been for her entire competitive career.

Morgan Township coach Lisa Pozniak has been an instructor at IEG for four years, and she's worked with Maxwell the last three. The 2010 Merrillville graduate competed for the Pirates, and she is extremely impressed with Maxwell.

"When she tumbles, she just explodes; she's a very powerful gymnast," Pozniak said of the 5-foot-3 Maxwell. "It's amazing to watch."

Maxwell, who is a Level 9 gymnast in USAG competitions, packs a punch with her routines. On vault, she does a Yurchenko layout, a move named for the three-time world champion who perfected it in the 1980s. She has an overshoot and double-back dismount on bars.

On beam, she performs a back handspring-back handspring run, a pike jump back tuck and does a cartwheel with a full twist on the dismount. One of her floor exercise passes is a 1 1/2 punch front.

Every routine has the full 10-point value.

"They're pretty much the same things I do for USAG," Maxwell said. "i know what I need to do and how I need to do it."

Pozniak said Maxwell has six meets scheduled for the regular season, and the next one is this Saturday's Chesterton Invitational.

Maxwell doesn't mind the length of time between her competitions.

"I look at it as a positive, something to push me to spend more time in practice," she said. "I can improve more on beam, and get rid of the wobbles. I have time to be more precise with everything."

Maxwell just wants to continue honing things for a possible deep postseason run.

"I'd love to make it to regional and maybe make it state," she said. "I think it will be interesting."

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