Mentor Schools continues to produce top talent

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Kelsey Morgan became state champion on balance beam with a score of 9.550.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

As one of the largest schools in the state, over the years Mentor High School has earned a reputation for being a powerhouse in athletics, with Cardinals teams often in contention for district, regional and event state titles. But this year, Ohio’s top honors were decided on a delicate four-inch-wide balance beam.

In March, senior Kelsey Morgan became a state champion on the balance beam event, with a score of 9.550. She says the most difficult move in her routine was nailing a back handspring layout stepout.

Overall in the competition, the Mentor High School gymnastics team placed fourth, with a score of 141.550.

“Being on the podium, getting my medal, is a moment I will never forget,” says Kelsey. “I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I was given, and to be able to share it with my teammates, my coach and my family.”

After beginning her journey at age three with the Lake Erie Gymnastics School in Mentor, Kelsey would go through a rigorous practice routine, and by high school was practicing about 13 hours per week, every day after school and on Sundays.

She is only the second state champion gymnast from Mentor, joining Kayla Kosmerl, who won all-around and bars in 2012.

“We are so proud of Kelsey and all of her accomplishments,” says Kristen Kirby, director of community relations for the school system. The high school hung a commemorative plaque for her on the Wall of Champions, and she’s being featured in a story in ComMentor newsletter. The team and Kelsey were recognized at a recent Mentor Board of Education meeting.

Other accolades include being named the 2019 News Herald Gymnast of the Year.

Unfortunately, just after her winning performance on the balance beam at states, she took a tumble during the floor exercise, breaking one ankle and spraining the other.

Kelsey does not plan to continue gymnastics at the college level. She will attend Ohio University in the fall studying physical therapy.

The Mentor School system educates 7,660 students from pre-K to 12th grade in eight elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school and one school for students with autism. For updates, visit