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Local gymnasts prepare to leap into national competition in Lakeland

Funtastic Gymnastics in Brooksville WFTS.png
Posted at 9:25 AM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 16:19:08-04

BROOKSVILLE, Fla.  — Next week some of the most talented gymnasts from around the country will be jumping, flipping and tumbling into Lakeland.

It’s the 51st annual United States Trampoline and Tumbling Association National Championships, and it's being held for the first time at the RP Funding Center.

Head Coach Kristin Nieze, of Funtastic Gymnastics in Brooksville, couldn’t be more proud, 15 of her athletes have qualified to compete in the competition starting June 13.

“It lets us know that we are doing the right work and that our kids are performing the skills well, and the judges are liking what we are doing,” said Nieze.

The Brooksville squad has racked up state championships but this time they’ll be facing 140 of the best teams from across the country.

“A lot of them are super excited and a lot of them are really scared, a lot of them this is their first year competing,” said Nieze.

These tumblers have something most teams don’t, the comforts of home.

“Well that is super exciting, generally you have to travel across the whole country and it’s a big ordeal, a lot of the athletes don’t go when it’s that far,” said Nieze.

The competition consists of three events: power tumbling, mini-double trampoline and trampoline, a sport you’ll also find in the Olympics.

“It’s fun but you have to be focused on what you are doing so you don’t hurt yourself,” said 11-year-old Benson.

These athletes know the USTA could be a launching pad to reaching their dreams.

“The Olympics,” said 11-year-old Korra Khan.

This is a true team, they take off together, they land together, and they root for each other.