Leah was born in Commerce, Michigan on November 5, 2000 to parents Mark and Tara Clapper. Active and extremely coordinated, she taught herself how to do backward somersaults when she was 1. Leah was enrolled in gymnastics classes since she was a toddler. She would turn the couch and its cushions into a trampoline during her younger years, and creating tumbling pits out of pillows and blankets was a favorite past time of hers.
Leah began pre-team gymnastic competitions at age 6, and joined the competitive team at Gym America in Ann Arbor, MI at age 7. She qualified as a TOPs Gold team member at age 7. Next year, when she was 8, Leah travelled to the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas as a TOPs National Qualifier. Leah became a member of the TOPs B Team in 2009, and, therefore, travelled back to the National Team Training Center for camp just after turning 9. Leah returned to Texas in 2010 when she again qualified to TOPs Nationals. Leah qualified to TOPs Nationals both years she was eligible.
Leah was the Level 7 State Champion on floor in 2010. As a Level 8 in 2011, Leah placed 2nd AA at several meets including “Battle of Champions” (Toledo, OH), “Circle of Stars” (Indianapolis, IN), “Buckeye Classic” (Columbus, OH), and “Wolverine Classic” (Saline, MI). She qualified to the Michigan team at Level 8 State Championships, and finished 5th AA at Level 8 Region 5 Championships with a 37.025.Leah began competing Level 9 when she was 11-years old. That year she won 1st all-around at the well-known “Chicago Style” meet. In 2013, Leah placed 2nd at the Level 9 Region 5 Championships with an AA score of 38.050. This qualified her to compete at Level 9 Eastern Nationals in May 2013. Leah placed 3rd on beam and 7th AA at Eastern Nationals.
At age 13, Leah started competing Level 10. She had much success during her first year of Level 10, winning 1st AA at “Flip Like an Egyptian” (Lansing, MI), and 2nd AA at “MEGA Magic Classic” (Ypsilanti, MI), “UGA Invitational” (Tinley Park, IL), “Wolverine Classic” (Saline, MI), and “Tim Rand” (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Leah placed 6th AA at the Level 10 Michigan State Meet. At Regionals she then qualified to compete at the JO NIT in 2014. Leah placed 7th FX, 10th UB, and 12th AA at JO NIT in Jackson, MS.During this 2014-15 season, Leah has been competing Level 10 while also training for elite. She won the AA in Level 10 at “Buckeye Classic” (Columbus, OH), and “Wolverine Classic” (Saline, MI). Leah placed 2nd AA at “Gymnastics on the Grand” (Grand Rapids, MI), “CGA Coaches Spectacular” (Covington, KY), and “Gasparilla Classic” (St. Petersburg, FL). In March, Leah qualified her elite compulsories at “Tim Rand” (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), placing 2nd AA at the elite qualifier with a 36.825. At the 2015 Michigan Level 10 State Meet, Leah placed 4th BB and 4th AA with a 37.450. Leah qualified to JO Nationals at the 2015 Level 10 Region 5 Championships, earning 2nd BB and 6th AA with a 37.300. Competing for the Region 5 Dream Team at JO Nationals in Des Moines, IA, Leah placed 5th on Bars, 9th on Floor, and 15th AA with a 37.525. Additionally, her Junior B Dream Team from Region 5 finished 1st at JO National Championships among all JO sessions with a team score 153.650. In the 2015-2016 season Leah competed both Level 10 and Elite. Leah had continued success, and some of her major accomplishments include 2nd AA at the Michigan State Championships, 3rd AA at Region 5 Championships, and 7th AA at JO Nationals with a 37.950. She also placed 4th on Floor and 5th on Beam at Nationals. Her Junior D Region 5 Dream Team finished 1st as well. Leah made the Region 5 All Star Team which traveled to Costa Rica, and she received the “Region 5 Gymnastics Insider” Award for “Most Entertaining Routine” (Floor). Leah qualified Elite at the Brestyan’s Las Vegas Invitational, hitting all her routines and posting a Senior Elite Qualifying score of 53.000. Leah competed at both the American Classic and US Secret Classic. She enjoyed the experience at her first podium meet in Hartford, CT. One of Leah’s goals as a gymnast is to compete at a Division 1 school. Leah is excited to have signed her NLI with the University of Florida on a full-ride scholarship. She will join the Gators gymnastics team in the 2018-2019 school year.