Jennifer DeBellis - Columbian Female AOY (WA)

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Jennifer DeBellis - Columbian Female AOY (WA)

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:33 pm ... -debellis/

Female High School Athlete of the Year
Jennifer DeBellis, Columbia River High School

Photo by Steven Lane
Jennifer DeBellis, Columbia River High School
By Paul Valencia
Columbian Sports Reporter
Saturday, June 18, 2011

By Steven Lane
The Columbian
Columbia River's Jennifer DeBellis

Gymnastics has been with Jennifer DeBellis since she was little. That was an easy decision for her, to compete as a high school gymnast.

There was no long-term commitment to track and field and the pole vault, though. She just thought it looked fun.

Today, she is a champion in both sports.

DeBellis, a junior at Columbia River High School, is The Columbian’s All-Region girls multi-sport athlete of the year.

In the winter, she won the Class 3A state title on the floor exercise. That was a day after she finished fourth in the prestigious all-around competition.

A few months later, DeBellis was clearing the bar with a state-meet record mark in the 3A pole vault, claiming another state championship.

“I wanted to be a sprinter, but the workouts were hard and I’m kind of allergic to running,” she said with a laugh, referring to her freshman year when she went out for track and field. “I saw the pole vaulters. Everyone looked like they were being crazy and having fun. I went over there and really liked it.”

As a freshman in gymnastics, DeBellis was an integral part of the team’s state championship. She also won the floor exercise title that year, only to finish second in the event in 2010 by one-tenth of a point.

“Getting second place by that close of a score got me determined to win again this year,” DeBellis said. “That was my whole goal this season. I did all-around, but floor was my main focus the whole season.”

In the spring, she once again used 2010 as a driving force for 2011. She finished third at state in the pole vault last year. This year, she won the event by a foot, clearing 12 feet, 6 inches to set the state-meet record.

“They made me sign papers to make it official.”

DeBellis said her motivation for competing in two sports was to stay active. She wanted more to do than just a winter sport.

She also likes the differences in the sports. In gymnastics, it’s all about the judging. In track and field, the mark is the mark.

DeBellis is a champion of both disciplines.

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