Friday Night Sports Hero: Bailey Smith

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP)--- Bailey Smith is a senior at North Platte High but is a gymnast at Legacy Dance & Gymnastics, who has competed in Regionals a few years ago as well as in events across the country.

Starting gymnastics when she was seven, Smith joined with her friends as something to do.

Senior gymnast Bailey Smith said, "I think it's really helped me grow as a person, become stronger mentally and physically and just really help me gain new friends."

"I can't actually believe she's a senior actually, but she came in as a compulsory kid, so pretty low, not low but medium level and she's come a long way in a lot of things. It's kind of exciting to watch her grow," said Legacy Dance & Gymnastics manager Michelle McNulty.

Her passion for the sport has grown with each new level she's reached.

McNulty said, "It's really hard to make it throw a gymnastics career all the way to senior year. We ask a lot and a lot of hours and school and friends are always the things that pull them out of here and to make it to your senior year is a big deal. So just that a lone is a tribute to how much passion she has for the sport."

Smith said, "I'm in the gym a lot and so you learn how to manage your time, you learn how to persevere through challenges and how to get over fears and you really learn how to be a teammate even though it's an individual sport."

Fellow gymnast Teya Carlini said, "Just watching Bailey's gymnastics, it's so pretty. Like her leaps and everything are always so pretty from her toe point to her straight leg, it's fun watching her."

As a teacher at the gym, Smith enjoys passing that love onto her students.

"Over the years, I've seen her grow just more of like a motherly figure almost in a way because she's oldest. Just older sister type bond," said Carlini.

"I think that they look at her as a role model, for sure. And I think she's not just great in here, she does outside activities too and she's a pretty good student and i think they watch what she does and want to be kind of like her," said McNulty.

Carlini said, "Baileys so fun to be around too. So she brings energy to the team and if you're struggling with anything, she'll pick you back up and cheer for you or cheer for you when you're struggling with anything, she's like right there."