Big things sometimes come in small packages. A local group of gymnasts are proof of that.
They’ve trained for a big event and that hard work is about to pay off.
A record number of Bob Sierra YMCA gymnasts will be descending on Long Beach, Calif. at the end of June for the YMCA Nationals.
“These girls have been practicing together for a long time so there’s a lot of camaraderie where they’ve gone through levels together and grown together since they were very young,” gymnastics director and head coach Gabrielle Garcia said.
Garcia's daughter, Destiny, won an overall national title last year and is primed for a big meet this year. The 11-year-old got her first taste of the sports thanks to her mom.
“When I was a couple months old, my mom would take me outside on our trampoline and she would hold me and do back flips with me,” Destiny said.
She doesn’t need any help with the back flips now. Destiny's one of 30 Bob Sierra gymnasts gunning for the golf.
Lisa Cochran is another. Cochran’s been tumbling since she was three. The YMCA Nationals will be her final competition before the Steinbrenner High grad heads off to the University of Florida.
“My parents just signed me up because I would not stop moving at all, so they were just like, OK, she’s a gymnast," Cochran said. "No matter how much it frustrates me, I just keep coming back, I just, I can’t stop.”
Cochran’s the captain of the Level 8 team, a team with a lot of buzz surrounding them. They’re considered the team to beat in California.
“We were a really new team last year," Garcia said. "They’d never competed at Level 8 and they did it at nationals and ended up third by less than half a tenth. So we’re pretty excited.
"We think we can win it this year.”