Lily was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 15, 2004 to parents Mark and Tara Clapper. She tumbled a bit as a toddler, learning mostly from her big sister, Leah. Lily also enjoyed dancing, snow skiing and ice skating as a preschooler. At age 6 she began gymnastics at Gym America in Ann Arbor, MI so she could safely learn new skills. Lily’s first year she competed on the pre-team in fun meets, and then on to the level 4 competitive team at 7-years-old. She had a successful season with several podium finishes, and a 5th place finish at the Michigan Level 4 State Meet.
[Photos of Lily Clapper Ages 9-11]
At age 11, Lily was the Level 7 all-around champion at the “Athlete Warrior Challenge” (Warren, MI), “Gymnastics on the Grand” (Grand Rapids, MI), and “Girl Power” (Saline, MI). She finished her level 7 season as the Region 5 vault champion.
Lily competed Level 9 the next year at age 12. She had another successful season, winning the all-around at “CGA Coaches Spectacular” (Covington, KY), “Brestyan’s Las Vegas Invitational” (Las Vegas, NV), and “Wolverine Classic” (Saline, MI). Lily was the 2017 Level 9 Region 5 Vault Champion and she qualified to the 2017 Level 9 Eastern National Championships. Lily tied for 2nd on floor and 3rd on vault at Eastern Nationals.
During the 2017-18 season, Lily competed her first year as a Level 10. She finished 2nd AA at “Gymnastics on the Grand” (Grand Rapids, MI), “Twistars Invitational” (Dimondale, MI), and “Metroplex Challenge” (Fort Worth, TX). Lily placed 6th AA (37.000) at the Level 10 Region 5 Championships, earning her a spot on the Region 5 Dream Team and qualifying to compete at her first J.O. National Championships in Cincinnati, OH.
As a second year Level 10 during the 2018-19 season, Lily introduced new skills on each event and had podium finishes at every meet. Lily earned the 2019 Michigan State Beam Champion title, and she secured a second trip to J.O. National Championships on the Region 5 Dream Team with a 4th place AA (37.400) at the Region 5 Championships.
[Photos of Lily Clapper at Level 9 & 10 Development Championships]
Lily’s third year as a Level 10 in the 2019-20 season included additional difficulty in her routines, and once again, she appeared on the podium at every meet. Notably, at “Circle of Stars” in Indianapolis, Lily earned a 37.800 AA (2nd) and 9.600 Beam (2nd). Lily finished her season strong with her highest Level 10 AA score of 38.000 at the “Tim Rand Invite” in West Palm Beach, just before an abrupt end due to COVID-19.
One of Lily’s goals as a gymnast is to compete at a Division 1 school on an athletic scholarship. Currently, Lily will be entering 11th grade this fall at Saline High School, and she will graduate in spring 2022.