Brendah Lomelino’s path to winning four championship medals in the state USA Gymnastics competition in early April has not been without some bumps along the way.
In the Level 8 Senior B division of the New York state competition, the 19-year-old Howard Beach gymnast won first place in vault, bars, floor exercises and the all-around category. She also won second place in the beam category.
Though Lomelino had started training for the competition back in November, she found out that her back was fractured at the end of last year. Suddenly in March, her coach Igor Kolpakchi at Nina’s Gymnastics Center called her and asked if she wanted to jump into the state competition scheduled two weeks later.
“During those two weeks, I trained like four hours a day, five times a week,” Lomelino said, adding that the win has motivated her “because I realized I had a lot of potential, especially coming back from a fractured back. I was still injured and I did really good.”
Lomelino said that she’s been doing gymnastics since she was 10 years old. After starting the sport, she focused on it solidly for about six years straight, and then began coaching for two years before taking some breaks before her recent victories.
A fractured back wasn’t the only setback she had this winter. She had begun working out in January before finding out her mother had Covid, so she didn’t go to the gym for another month after that.
Going forward, Lomelino’s mother told the Chronicle Tuesday that she had decided to compete in the USAG’s Region 6 Championship this coming weekend in Springfield, Mass.
“I want to keep pursuing gymnastics and perhaps eventually compete for Brazil because I’m Brazilian,” Lomelino told the Chronicle.
She added that she could also see herself seeking a gymnastics college scholarship in the near future to pursue getting an undergraduate degree in interior design or fashion. But for now she just wants to see where the sport will take her.
“I feel like gymnastics has this stereotype that you have to be a certain age to do it. Because a lot of girls, once they’re 18, they quit. If they don’t quit, they’re doing college gymnastics. And you know, like I’m a bit older for the sport, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it,” she said.