By Cary Shuman
Eliza Brown, an eight-year-old gymnast from Lynn who trains at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy, took home the Level 4 state vaulting title and the accompanying first-place trophy at a state meet at Groton Middle School.
Eliza claimed the first place award in the vaulting event with a solid score of 9.4 out of a possible 10.0 It was a doubly happy day for Eliza, who was celebrating her eighth birthday on the day of the meet.
Eliza impressed the judges with her vaulting skills during two attempts in the event. Eliza has been training as a gymnast for four years under the direction of Tami D’Itria, coach of the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy team.
“It’s an excellent achievement to be a state champion but Eliza worked hard in the gym to get it,” said D’Itria. “She’s a really good athlete and I’m very proud of her.”
Eliza thanked her coach for teaching her the vaulting techniques that resulted in a state championship performance.
“She’s really nice and teaches me well,” said Eliza, who also plays basketball.
It’s been a memorable run athletically for the Brown family. Eliza’s father David Brown is the head coach of the Winthrop High boys basketball team that won the state championship in March at the TD Garden. His son, David, 6, was a bench operations helper for the state champions, while his daughter, Ava, 10, is also a gymnast.
Eliza’s grandfather, Pete Pedro, is a Texas college football legend and a member of the Texas State Hall of Fame.