Local gymnasts at the Gymnastics Academy of Rockford gear up for nationals

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Four gymnasts at the Gymnastics Academy of Rockford are tuning up for the upcoming national championships.

Those four are 18 year old Katelyn Higgins of Big Foot, Wisconsin, 16 year old Rockford Christian student Dani Petrousek. 13 year old Reese Samuelson of Marengo, and 13 year old Rockford Christian student Kendall Turner.

Turner will compete at the level nine nationals in Rochester, New York later this week. The other three girls will compete at the level 10 nationals in Cincinnati next week. Three of the four girls have competed at nationals bevore. They’re all eager to try to fulfuill their potential after months of hard work.

“I come here Monday through Saturday. I practice about  26 hours a week,” says Samuelson.

So what did she learn the first time at nationals that maybe will help her this time?

“To stay in the moment. Not think about anything else. Keep the crowd over there (she said pointing) and just like focus.”

“The last two times went really successful for me and hopefully this year I’ll add on to my experience and just stay in the moment, focus on what I’m doing and having fun,” says Higgins.

“I’m around the best of the best and I think I have to think like there’s a reason that I’m here, so be more confident,” says Patrousek of her approach. “There’s really not a lot of nerves going on for me, just excitement.”

Turner will be competing in four events at nationals. Which one is her best?

“Probably vault. I also like the floor too,” she said. “I want to do really well.”

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