MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - After 30 years of chasing a goal, it can be very easy to give up.
The coaches for the Moultrie YMCA Gymnastics program never did. They were finally rewarded for their resiliency this weekend.
"It's kind of a validation," admits head coach Bob Swadell.
The Moultrie team claimed the YMCA National Championship over the weekend in Long Beach, CA. It's the first national title at the highest division for the program.
"You put in a lot of work, and you keep telling kids we've got a shot at it," Swadell says. "To actually do it finally, and be able to hang that championship banner makes it a real special occasion."
The team was led by a pair of individual national champions. Moultrie's Timia Fowler won three titles, in all-around, bars, and vault. Bainbridge's Emily Perkins claimed the beam title.
They say hearing the team called as national champs was an unforgettable experience.
"My heart was racing," laughs Fowler. "We've tried for a long time, and we're just thankful that it actually happened."
"There's a bunch of banners in this gym," says Perkins. "It means a lot for us to be the first first place."
Moultrie's team has won a YMCA national title in the past, but in a lower division.