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Madison Heights

April 9, 2014

As Lamphere’s only gymnast, Peterson, qualified for states three times in four years

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Pictured is Madison Heights Lamphere senior Justina Peterson, who solely represented the Rams’ gymnastics team. Peterson qualified for regionals four times, and states three times, during her gymnastics career at Lamphere.

While a lot of things can make high school a memorable time in people’s lives, being the sole representative of a school sports team can qualify as a pretty unique experience.

Although it may not be commonplace, that is the exact position senior Justina Peterson found herself in, as for four seasons, she was the gymnastics team for Madison Heights Lamphere.

“It was just an amazing opportunity,” Peterson said. “Without it, I would have had to end my gymnastics career earlier. It was great to be able to do what I love in high school. It was really cool to be able to be the only one to represent my school.”

When Peterson arrived at Lamphere, the school didn’t have a gymnastics team. While the easy thing to do may have been to just give up on the idea of competing for her school, it was with the help of her mother, Thelma, Lamphere Athletic Director Russ McKenzie, coach Allyson Pfeifer and Birmingham Groves Athletic Director Thomas Flynn that a decision was made allowing Peterson to train with Birmingham Unified (Groves, Birmingham Seaholm) and compete for Lamphere.

Peterson seems to have done her part to make their effort worthwhile, as she ended her high school gymnastics career by qualifying for regionals four times and made it as far as states in three of her four years at Lamphere.

Although she doesn’t plan to compete in gymnastics at college, Peterson was offered a presidential scholarship at Spring Arbor University.