GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Twelve-year-old Isabell Stecklein was undefeated in 2012, set to take the state title. Then one accident put a sudden halt on the plans.
"I was right before state," said Isabell. "I was really psyched. I was ready for state, and then I broke my arm."
Though she had to miss competition, she didn't let it get her down.
"She was still in the gym every day doing what she could do as far as all of her leaps and jumps," said Kidzplex beam coach Jessica Hawkins. "This year she's really made a big jump to come back and get all of her skills back."
In 2013 she put up another undefeated record, but to finish the season on top wouldn't be a walk in the gym.
"A lot of clubs in the Front Range now are trying to train for the Olympics," said Kidzplex head coach Brian Bensley. "It's looking at 20-30 hours a week, so to take a state title against that level of competition, that's outstanding."
Success is something Kidzplex is accustomed to. They've taken a state title in either all-around, individual, or team every year since 1986, and Isabelle is now a part of the tradition.
"That was a huge honor. I couldn't have done it without my support of my awesome teammates and my coach," she said.
People who know what it takes to make it far, know Izzy has what it takes.
"Determination, drive, work ethic, attitude - it's a combination of a lot of different things," said Jessica. "Gymnastics is not only a physical ability but also a mental kind of game."
"She's a really focused kid, very mature for her age," said Bensley. "People think she's three or four years older, and she knows what she wants. She knows how to work for it."
But in the end, it's the athlete who makes the choice - to be stagnant or to succeed.
"It takes a lot of determination and time," said Isabell. "You've got to be really dedicated towards the sport."
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