By Justin Kim, Sports Junior Division Head. Pictured: Katie Sawyer, ’21.
Lexington Christian Academy is home to many talented athletes. However, LCA does not offer many sports that some students currently participate in. Katie Sawyer, a determined junior, has joined LCA this year. One thing that many don’t know about her is the fact that she is an award winning gymnast!
Sawyer began her career at the ripe age of two years old and has continued on fearlessly for 14 years. Some children become worried or anxious when first starting gymnastics, but, for Sawyer, it was exhilarating. At first, she tried other sports, but, when her mother enrolled her into a few classes, she was hooked. Ever since then, nonstop she has been hard at work. Through her blood, sweat, and tears, Sawyer has been able to push herself to reach great achievements.
For her age class, Sawyer has won the 2019 state championship on the floor, bars, and vault routines! By winning states, she qualified for regionals. Additionally, by ranking in the top seven of regionals, Sawyer qualified for the Junior Olympic National Championship three times! Her favorite routine is floor, where she skillfully tumbles and dances. “For my tumbling,” explains Sawyer when further questioned about her tricks, she does a “double layout, arabian double front, one and a half punch pike, and double pike.” Astonishingly, she is able to pull off these difficult moves with grace and elegance.
The toughest part of gymnastics for her is the intensity of the physical and mental strain. There are many injuries, and it’s mentally draining to constantly practice. Overall, it’s very “tough on the head.” When inquired about her injuries as a gymnast, Sawyer states that there are many big injuries, including tears, broken bones, and sprains. Just recently this year, during a floor routine, she punched for her skill but tore her achilles, broke two bones, and sprained her ankle at the same time. “Then I had surgery!” she ends with a laugh. Sawyer is able to push through her drawbacks and persevere because of the toughness she has gained through gymnastics. Her greatest takeaway from gymnastics is her perseverance. She explains, “I’ve learned to never give up, always persevere and be confident.”
Many gymnasts have difficulty balancing their school life and athletic life. For Sawyer, her solution was to come to LCA for its “flexibility” and its “welcoming community.” As many of you know, being an athlete is extremely difficult because you need to balance your academics and sports. For Sawyer, “it’s hard, but from gymnastics I learned how to manage my time and be determined to get everything done.” After asking about her favorite moment at LCA so far, Sawyer replied, “Homecoming! The games were really fun to watch and all the teams were really good! And the dance was fun!”
Fun fact: Sawyer is the current best friend of past LCA star gymnast, Emily Holmes-Hackerd. They were on the same team for 2 years, so when Holmes-Hackerd left for college, Sawyer was devastated. But, during college breaks, they are able to be reunited as best friends.
Whether in the halls of LCA or at the gym, Katie Sawyer is determined to work hard and have fun!