FRAMINGHAM – In the 2008-2009 season, Framingham High gymnast Ashley Paulsen set the high school’s record for all-around gymnastics.
Paulsen is now the Framingham High School assistant athletic director and the assistant gymnastics coach for her alma mater.
Last month, Coach Paulsen watched as Framingham High sophomore Olivia Lane broke her all-around points record.
“It is truly special to coach a remarkable athlete, who has the ability to not only break my bar record last year, but to then a year later have the same athlete break my previous all-around record,” said Paulsen.
“I knew the moment Olivia joined the team, she would be the one I would pass along my legacy, as a Framingham High all-around gymnast,” said Paulsen.
“Olivia reminds me a lot of myself, as a young high schooler, juggling the commitments of club and high school gymnastics, but finding a way to do both,” said Paulsen.
While gymnastics is a team sport, there is also an individual competition, as well.
“Being a part of Flyers gymnastics is the most amazing experience I’ve ever had,” said Lane. “Coming into high school last year as a freshmen not knowing many people and not really knowing what was going on most of the time, I wasn’t sure about doing high school gymnastics but, i’m so glad I did because it is an experience, I will remember for the rest of my life.”
“It was very special for me, when I found out I took her record. Ashley has helped me with so many things inside and outside of the gym. I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side, at meets and at practices. She pushes me to be the best possible gymnast I can be. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have her as a coach,” said the 16-year-old gymnast.
“The thrilling feeling of representing your high school and being the star of the team is something you will always remember. I still have articles in my desk from my two years as a Flyers gymnast that my mom saved for me, not knowing 14 years later I would become the assistant coach of the team and pass on my torch of Framingham High’s most decorated gymnast off to our standout sophomore Olivia Lane. Congratulations Olivia, you are now Framingham high school’s most decorated gymnast,” said Paulsen to SOURCE.
Lane, 16, started gymnastics at the age of 3.
“I love this sport because I love the big atmosphere of competing,” said Lane. “I found some of my best friends in this sport and it made me become the person I am today.”
Asked what is her best event, Coach Paulsen said “when it comes to her ‘best’ event I would probably go with the balance beam. When she is on, she is ON. She has such confidence and composure, when she is up there, it is incredible to watch. Her fast pace energy on a 4-inch beam is comparable to the NCAA gymnasts seen competing across the country. She is THAT good.”
Lane said of the four events, she loves floor.
“It is my all-time favorite event to compete,” said Lane. “I love dancing, so when I get to go out and perform it’s just the best feeling.”
Lane said vault is “definitely the most mentally challenging event” for her.
“From the ways my vaults have changed over the years and having to learn different vaults every year is very tough, but I am very happy with the way vault has been going and I plan to keep that up,” said Lane.
The high school sophomore said history is her favorite subject, as she enjoy learning about the past.
She said she used to “absolutely love science, as a kid, but as I got older it stopped making sense to me.”
And while she is learning new things in the classroom, she is also learning new things in the gym.
“Something new that i’ve mastered is a Yurchenko Layout on vault,” said Lane.
She said her consistent effort has paid off, and it now scores very well.
“When it comes to her all-around talent Olivia is exceptional in a sense that she is able to get out there and perform with minimal warm up. She is an example of next level talent. She has the ability to score high 9’s on every event with only 1-2 warm up turns,” said Coach Paulsen.
“She knows the team can count on her to bring in the top scores which has led to the Flyers undefeated season(s). Without Olivia, the team struggles to score in the 140s, as her all-around capabilities weigh heavily on the teams success,” said Coach Paulsen.
Framingham went undefeated in the Bay State Conference this season with a 7-0 record. The Flyers will compete in the Bay State Conference meet this weekend.
“People around the league would be lucky to have an athlete as talented as Olivia on their roster, and the Flyers have been on cruise control since she made her debut the winter of her freshman year,” said Paulsen.
“Her natural talent is special. Her capabilities are for more than she even believes are possible. I am forever grateful we found a way to make her high school experience much more memorable by being a part of our team,” said Paulsen.
“Olivia trains 35+ hours a week on top of being an honor roll student. She is a true testament to what the ideal student-athlete looks like,” said Paulsen.
Lane practices gymnastics all-year round. While the high school season is from December through March, Lane also competes at the club level, too.
“For club gymnastics, I practice 20 hours a week,” said Lane, who practices another 8 hours a week for the Flyers, a co-ed team.
“Club gymnastics is a year round sport,” said Lane. “There is no off season.”
Lane would like to compete at the collegiate level.
“It is a big dream of mine,” said the teen, who enjoys listening to music, including artists like Drake and Sza. “I love being in big atmospheres with everyone screaming and the energy level is high.
Lane also gives back to her community.
“I’ve taught Special Olympics and I enjoyed teaching kids how to do gymnastics,” said the Framingham High sophomore.
“As a coach, and a mentor I cannot wait to see what is in store for her over the next two seasons,” said Paulsen.