Gymnastic Academy of Rockford brings home 49 national titles


30 individual and 19 team tumbling and trampoline national titles – that’s what the Gymnastic Academy of Rockford brought home from the USTA national championship a couple weeks ago. That includes first place team overall.

62 athletes ages six through 25 competed in Charleston, West Virginia in late June. Wednesday was their first practice after a week of to recover. Trampoline Coach Ute Heger says with the competition getting tougher every year, she was a little nervous and wasn’t sure her squad would do as well as they did.

“We had a rough season,” Heger said. “There was one team out of Chicago trying to catch up, so we had to actually go back to basics. After State we just had to go back to basics and start over.”

For GAR tumbler Meg McChristie, the experience was bittersweet. It was her last time at nationals. The 17-year-old will continue her love of the sport at Maryville University this fall. She considers GAR a second home. That’s why she has stayed with the program for the last decade.

“It’s one big family,” McChristie said. “No matter what we’re going through, we’re all encouraging each other and on our bad days we make each other laugh.”

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