Summer Kids Play Week-Gymnastics 7-10

Local Kids Win Nationals Despite Injuries

Our Summer Kids Play Week continues with gymnastics.

I give you a close-up look at how local gymnasts prepared to win national titles, and how two of these athletes competed despite painful injuries.

Local gymnasts knew that when their next meet was nationals, they had to step it up in practice. Victoria Gymagic had gold medalists Noah Lowry in synchronized trampoline, and Brooke Warzecha in trampoline. Brooke and Krista McNary also were named to the USA National Team on trampoline and double mini. Angelina Garza, Gymagic’s gold medalist in double mini, explained how practice for nationals was different.

“The preparations are definintely a little bit tougher since it’s our biggest competition of the season.We usually condition a little harder. We do our corrections more efficiently.>”

Said McNary, “For nationals you have to train harder and even when you do have to go out of the country you have to train harder than that. Every competition gets harder and harder.”

For the 20th straight year, Chad Ganaway at Manning Gymnastics has coached a national champion. This time it was Jaden McCarter, getting her third national title, this time in synchonized trampoline. More intensity in practice led to gold.

Said McCarter, “For nationals, you come in after competition, you start working on stuff to get your optional and your compulsory really good so it’s like perfect.”

All that practicing and competition can take a physical toll on gymnasts. Paxton Henley from Manning’s finished fifth in trampoline. The West sophomore has been battling bulging discs in her back most of this year.

“My back’s doing pretty good. It’s a lot better. I’ve learned some techniques to not hurt my back any more and it’s actually really helped me a lot.”

Warzecha just finished competing in her tenth nationals, and picked up her sixth all-time national title. But she also has been dealing with injuries. The freshman-to-be at Industrial.has a slight stress fracture in her lower vertebrae. Brooke competed at nationals while wearing a back brace. How does she deal with that and still win nationals?

“What really helps me get through it is my teammates and my coaches’ support, a lot of prayer and a lot of just mental games that you have to play with yourself, telling yourself you’re ready, you know you’ve done this, it’s your tenth nationals, you know you can do this. That’s kind of what I do.”