Gymnast profile
By Bill Stone
SGS co-publisher

Leah Tarabour
Hinsdale Central senior

Resume: 2009 and 2010 state meet team competitor
2009 individual state qualifier
Member of 2010 Class 3A girls track state championship team and
individual state qualifier in pole vault
How did you get started in gymnastics?: Before gymnastics, I tried tons of sports, like soccer, basketball, Irish dance, and karate. In fifth grade, when I was about 11 years old, my neighbor was in gymnastics, and I wanted to be able to do flips like her. So after some begging, my parents let me start recreational gymnastics.
What is your greatest gymnastics moment?: When I was a sophomore at state in the (2009) team finals, beam was our team’s last event. I was the last girl to go for Hinsdale Central on beam, and my other teammates had all done great routines without falls. Staying on the beam at state that year as the last one to compete was a huge relief and a perfect ending to my season
What is the best part of gymnastics practice?: Being with the girls on the team is definitely the best part. I would never survive practice without them!
What individual gymnastics accomplishment are you most proud of?: I am very proud to be the school balance beam record holder (9.55 Jan. 5 at Naperville North Invite), because it is mind-blowing to know that I have had the highest beam score out of all the amazing gymnasts that have competed for Hinsdale Central.
What do you know about gymnastics now that you wish you knew when you were a freshman?: Keeping your knees straight in routines is really, really important.
What is your favorite gymnastics saying or slogan?: (Teammate) Kristen Grilli taught me the saying, ‘PMA all the way.’ PMA stands for positive mental attitude. It’s not just a gymnastics
slogan. It works for pretty much everything, but it is something people should remember.
What would make this a successful season for you?: As long as everyone on the team gets to compete in conference, sectionals and state, I will consider this season a success. That means we need to stop getting injured.
How did you get involved with the Bell Choir at the Union Church of Hinsdale?: I played in the ‘smaller’ bell choir in middle school, and it was actually my mom that convinced me to join the Allegro Handbell Ensemble in high school. At first I did not want to do it, but after a few months it became one of my favorite activities. My favorite part of bells is going on summer tours each year to play concerts around the country.
How did you become interested in pole vault? What did it mean for you to qualify for state in 2010?: During the gymnastics postseason, I saw some girls pole vaulting in the fieldhouse where we practice floor routines. People told me that gymnasts tend to be good at pole vault, so I decided to try it. It is not nearly as time-consuming as gymnastics, and it is nice because I don’t get an execution score. The only thing that matters is getting over the bar. Qualifying for state was extremely exciting for me. My vault didn’t contribute to the team score, but it was actually more rewarding to watch my teammates win state for Central for the first time.
What is your favorite video game?: Wii Fit, because I don’t like going long without doing something active. And it’s the only video game I can play while feeling productive at the same time.
What are five items you would select for a fantasy meal?: Pasta with marinara sauce would be the main dish. I have it almost every day, but it’s always amazing. I would also have some salad with my dad’s delicious dressing. Lemonade is great all the time, so that would be my drink. For dessert, I would either have something smothered in Nutella or crème brulée. Yum.
If you could be a guest star on any current television show, which would you choose?: ‘House.’ I would have some crazy incurable disease, but then House would miraculously cure me when I am just inches from death. It’s what happens in every episode.”
If you could sing a duet with any currently living person, whom would you choose? I would sing with the cast from ‘Glee’ because they make every song sound like it could be from a Disney movie.
If you could live for one month in any foreign country, where would you choose?: Australia. Hopefully a month is long enough to acquire the accent.
What three items would you bring to a deserted island?: I would bring a camera, so I could remember my adventures on the island if I ever got back home. I would also bring a pillow/sleeping
bag because no one wants to sleep on the sand. I have to say I would bring a cell phone to call for help. If I got no service, I would spell out HELP on the ground with rocks. Someone would see it
eventually. I’m hoping I never get into that situation.