A team of gymnasts at Gymnastics Unlimited in Orchard Park made gym history. The four gymnasts became the only team in Western New York this season to have all members of their Level Nine squad qualify for Nationals.
“This is a pretty big deal,” said gymnast Lea Philarom. “It’s a big accoplishment,” added Savannah Sayoc. “This is the meet to go to,” said Brooke Walker. “It’s pretty breathtaking,” said Cali Czarcinsk.
Breathtaking may not adequately describe the moment all four gymnasts found out they were headed to Nationals.
“I was so excited because I never thought that would happen,” said Sayoc.
“Honestly, when I found out I totally thought I wasn’t going to make it,” said Walker. “Then I found out that I made it and I was like estatic, I was so excited.”
When it comes to qualifying for Naitonals, it isn’t an easy feat.
“They’re at the second highest level of their sport and they’ve made it all the way to Nationals which is like the Olympics for their level,” explained Coach Christy Jamieson.
“I’m really proud of all of them because they all worked really hard to get to this point,” said Czarcinsk.
“When I look back and see and feel all the hard work that I’ve done I can see how much I’ve grown and see how much I’ve put into this sport,” said Walker.
“It takes a lot of dedication,” added Jamieson. “They practice at minimum five to six days a week, three and a half hours a day, it’s a full time job.”
An entire season of training, practice and meets leads up to the three days competiton in Florida, featuring the nation’s best athletes.
“I just hope they’re able to hit all their routines and do their best without being really nervous,” said Jamieson.
“It’s very nervewracking, but once you start you know what to do it’s mental,” said Philarom. “It’s muscle memory.”
“Just getting there in the actual arena it’s a little nervewracking,” added Sayoc. “But when I’m doing my routines my body kind of goes on autopilot and I know how to do everything.”
And at the end of the day, the team says it comes down to what matters most.
“Just learning to be brave and having fun with your teammates and learning new skills and having fun,” said Philarom.
“I’m so excited I would not be able to do it alone and I’m so glad that I have all my friends with me to do it,” said Sayoc.