#1 in the nation

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:55

Jamie Hammel, a seventh grade student at Macopin, traveled to Orlando, Florida this summer to represent New Jersey in the National Champion Competition for the United States Association of Independent Gymnasts. She competed against about 45 other 12-year-olds on the Silver level. Jamie made the finals in three events, vault, balance beam and floor. She won first place in the nation for the balance beam, and fifth in the nation for both floor and vault. A notable accomplishment for anyone, Jamie's win is particularly impressive given that just three weeks before the competition she had a cast taken off her wrist. She had broken two of her fingers in May and because of gymnastics, the doctor decided to put her in a cast while they healed. Jamie practices at Eastern National Academy in Pompton Plains 18 to 20 hours a week.