KENOSHA, Wis. - It’s what every high school gymnast wants to hear: you’re going to Nationals.
"It’s the biggest meet of the year, so obviously it’s nice to qualify and go there," said Ian Gustafson, a senior at Tremper High School.
"This is all I’ve wanted for this season and I’m glad I accomplished the goal of going to Nationals this year," said Grace Christensen, a sophomore at Walden III High School.
Tremper High School’s Ian Gustafson and Walden III High School’s Grace Christensen are set to compete on the biggest of stages.
"It’s so cool," said Christensen. "I’m so excited for Ian and me to both go and represent Region 4 and Scamps."
The duo, representing Scamps Gymnastics and the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, are currently competing in this year’s 2021 USA Gymnastics Development Program National Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. They'll be among the 1,500 gymnasts fighting for a shot at becoming a national champion.
"Just being able to compete with that many people again, it’s going to be fun," said Gustafson.
Gustafson has been to Nationals twice before, but for Christensen, this is a whole new experience.
"What I’m anticipating most is just like, hitting all my events and just going in with a positive mindset and just competing for Region 4 and my team," said Christensen.
The journey to Nationals hasn’t come without hundreds of hours of hard work in the gym, and the end goal will be worth it when the two finally get to show off their skills.
"I want to place top 5 on floor, vault right over there and then maybe pommel horse, but that one’s going to be tough," said Gustafson.
"How I want to end is just placing top 10 in the all-around and placing top 5 on vault," said Christensen.
Gustafson is up first. He will compete on Friday, May 14. Meanwhile, Christensen competes on Sunday, May 16.
"I think the biggest challenge is just getting over nerves and the fear of competing," said Christensen. "Just going into it knowing that, just do what you do at practice, and you’ll be okay."