Becky Robinson took a step up in class last week.
The prize pupil of the Harford Gymnastics Club recently won her second National Junior Olympics individual title, and her fourth place in the all-around competition earned a place on the Junior Olympic National Team.
The girls gymnastics portion of the Junior Olympics was at UMBC last weekend, with Robinson, competing in the Juniors (ages 14-15), getting first in floor exercise (9.70).
Her other disciplines included fourth in vaulting (9.337) and fifth on bars (9.45).
A protest by an opposing coach on an official's technical call during her bars routine was upheld, and the resulting deduction of three-tenths of a point dropped her out of first place.
As one of the top seven all-arounds, Robinson, a Forest Hill resident, is eligible to attend a training camp Aug. 19-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo. She is the only representative of Region VII (six Middle Atlantic states) to gain this honor.
"In addition to the training camp, the group will be used to fill in, if needed, for other camps and international clinics," Robinson said.
The Fallston High School sophomore has equally impressive school credentials. She carries a 3.8 average, is involved with a student service club and will be sports editor of the student newspaper next year.
Robinson, 15, advanced to the nationals through a series of meets, first at the state level then the regional.
"You needed a combined compulsory-optional score of 69.00 at the state meet to reach the regional, and the top seven qualified for the national meet," she said.
"Everybody does the same compulsory routines, but you can make up your own optional program, as long as it contains certain routines that demonstrate required skills."
Robinson said her coaches, Dave Cox and Laurie Colquitt, required ballet lessons twice a week to improve her floor exercise skills.
"The lessons have really helped, and I'd say they are essential for anyone trying to achieve at a high level," she said.
A year ago, she competed in the Elite division, which has harder, more intense routines, but this time, "I chose not to go at the Elite level, because I was coming off a back injury and did not want to do the compulsories," she said.
"I have traveled a lot for meets -- California, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, the Carolinas, for instance -- so it was nice to compete close to home. I liked having my family and friends there."