BY LILY CHESBORO
Jensen Heppner, senior at Wadsworth High School, competed on Saturday, February 26 at Mentor High School in the district gymnastics meet to qualify for states.
Heppner has been doing gymnastics for a total of 12 years and has gone through many levels of training and competitions to get to where she is now.
“When I was young, I wanted to learn how to do a cartwheel, so my parents enrolled me in a gymnastics class,” said Heppner.
This is what inspired her gymnastics career and she has stuck with the sport ever since she was six. Heppner has spent between 16 to 24 hours each week training in gymnastics to strive to where she is now.
“I started at West Side Gymnastics and practiced there for seven years, five of which I competed for the team program. After that, I spent a year competing for Powerhouse Gymnastics. Then, when I joined the high school gymnastics team, I went to Dominique Moceanu Gymnastics Center for three years,” said Heppner.
Heppner has switched gyms many times to continue her training. Most recently she was back at Powerhouse Gymnastics.
“I’m very excited to compete in the all around this year, which means I get to compete in all four events,” said Heppner.
Heppner has had making it into states as one of her biggest goals this year and she explains that she is so proud of herself for reaching this goal.
“I was definitely nervous, but mostly I was focused on maintaining a positive attitude, performing as best as I could, and having fun,” she said.
Having this positive attitude while at the district meet allowed her to reach her goal of making it to states.
She explains that when she was younger there was not really a specific event that held her back, but one she really seemed to excel in was the high bars event.
At the district meet she placed eighth in high bars and ninth overall. At the state meet she was able to compete in all events.
“I’m so grateful for all of the support from my coaches and teammates that have helped me succeed,” Heppner said.
The state meet took place at Hilliard Bradley High School on Saturday, March 5.
Heppner placed ninth in the all around at the state competition with a score of 36.225.
“I also placed thirteenth on bars with a score of 8.90,” said Heppner. My other scores were 9.025 on floor, 9.25 on vault, and 9.05 on beam.”
This was Heppner’s third time making it to states, but this year was the first time she ever competed in all four events at states.