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KISSIMMEE, Florida - El Dorado's Anabelle Dewey continued her journey toward becoming an Elite American gymnast Saturday when she competed in the Orlando City of Lights National Elite Qualifier. Still just 9-years-old, Dewey competed in the 10-11 division and finished with a score of 28.500 in All-Around.

Her mother, Christy Dewey, said Anabelle needs a score of 32 to qualify for the HOPES stage of gymnastics.

"For her very first Elite experience, she did excellent," said Christy Dewey. "Her coaches are very happy with her performance. She has a bunch of skills she needs to get yet to qualify and some things to work on. She had a great time and said it was so much fun."

Anabelle, competing with Northeast Texas Elite, posted a high score of 8.400 on the vault. She had an 8.000 on the beam and a 7.750 on the floor exercise. She struggled on the bars, which, to date has been her most difficult event because of her height, and earned a 4.350.

"She doesn't have all the necessary bar skills, yet," said Christy Dewey. "She needs to get her front giants and blind changes."

After her success this weekend, another meet was added to Anabelle's schedule.

"If they can get her in, her next qualifying attempt will be the KPAC Cup in North Carolina on March 8-11," said Christy Dewey. "She was not originally signed up for it because I don't think anyone thought she would progress so rapidly."

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