When 18-year-old Randii Wyrick finished her final gymnastics competition as a Junior Olympian, she cried.
The Canyon Springs High School graduate's longtime coach, Dayna Waroe, cried.
And the meet referee, who is supposed to stay stoic and unbiased, cried, Waroe said.
The "hysterical crying," she said, was in celebration of Wyrick clinching top honors in USA Gymnastics national championships May 12, her last competition before moving on to the college level.
"We realized her Junior Olympics career was over, and we realized she did it on the highest note," Waroe said.
The budding professional gymnast won the all-around title for her age group in the Hampton, Va. competition, as well as the national title for the balance beam event. The top 56 gymnasts in their age groups, from about 5,000 gymnastic clubs nationally, qualified for the meet, Waroe said.
"It's a tremendously pressured meet," she said. "You must hit on the best of your ability, and you need to get every 10th of the score. As soon as she finished floor, we knew she had pretty much taken the title."
The feat did not come without many personal and physical challenges along the way, said Waroe, who is president of Wyrick's training gym, Brown's Gymnastics, 4544 W. Russell Road.
Wyrick performed with constant back pain since around age 14. She had setbacks with her knees.
In 2009, Wyrick twisted and fractured her elbow. The worst came en route to a quick care center, Wyrick said.
An adult put a synthetic ice pack on her elbow but didn't apply it correctly.
"It was on for too long, and too tight, so it gave me a second-degree burn," she said. "It was a traumatizing experience."
The teen visited a burn center for treatment every day for two months, endured physical therapy and learned to administer her own burn treatment. She was sidelined for four months.
"Not only did Randii have to deal with the pain in her elbow but the uncertainty of whether she would ever be able to do gymnastics again on her elbow," Waroe said.
Her physical lows - "It goes with gymnastics," Wyrick said - are juxtaposed with career highlights.
A gymnast since age 2, Wyrick received top honors at the junior level before training with Brown's Gymnastics at age 8. She qualified to perform on the elite level, composed of young women competing for the Olympic Games, and trained for about a year. She opted to return to the junior level.
She has been a captain at Brown's Gymnastics and attended every compulsory meet for the 133 gymnasts in the company, Waroe said.
"It's going to be very difficult to replace her," she said.
This fall, Wyrick is slated to attend Louisiana State University on a full athletic scholarship. She plans to study communications.
Among her last Junior Olympic competitions was the prestigious Nastia Liukin Cup at New York City's Madison Square Garden, Waroe said.
Waroe and Wyrick traveled to New York City together in March and soaked in the moment as a bookend to her Las Vegas gymnastics career.
"This was our going-away trip," she said. "I didn't think about doing well in gymnastics and thought more about enjoying New York with Randii."
USA Gymnastics national championships achievements came two months later.
"Winning nationals was the icing on the cake," Wyrick said.
Wyrick will likely never be on an Olympic stage, Waroe said, but she has strong promise for her college career.
Wyrick, who was born and raised in Las Vegas, said she loves the sport.
"I grew a love for gymnastics," she said. "When I grew the love, I realized it could take me places.
"It's always been instilled in me to take it serious."
Off the mat, Waroe said Wyrick is fun-loving and outgoing.
She is slated to focus on conditioning this summer and leave for college in early August.
"We're all so close here and have such a strong bond," she said. "I'm excited to leave, but it's gong to be weird. I have been training with these girls for a decade. It's been great."
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 477-3839.