Last weekend, South Central freshman gymnast Makenna King accomplished a feat not done since more than 20 years before she was born.
King became the first Satellites gymnast to win a sectional event since Jill Doms won beam in the 1982-83 season. King took home the Chesterton Sectional all-around title and won the beam and will hope to follow or even improve upon Doms' fifth-place regional finish nearly four decades ago.
Local gymnasts who know King from club action were already aware of her talent, but her ability as a freshman has taken aback some onlookers at the high-school level. Considering the sectional featured four of the top five teams in the Indiana High School Gymnastics state coaches poll — top-ranked Chesterton, No. 2 Valparaiso, No. 4 Portage and No. 5 Lake Central — King's victory looks all the more impressive.
King's goal for regionals? She said she wants to win it all.
The Times sports reporter Robbie Weinstein spoke with King ahead of Saturday's regional, which takes place at 1 p.m. in Valparaiso.
Q: How does it feel to win South Central's first sectional win since the 1980s?
A: It means a lot to me. It's a great feeling, having everyone cheering me on and being so supportive. It really feels so heartwarming.
Q: What's your everyday training regimen like?
A: Five days a week, four hours. Plus, I go to a personal trainer two days a week. Plus the hours in the gym, like four to five hours. And we have some softball in there too, two days a week. The season will be starting soon, so that's important.
Q: What's your mindset going into regionals?
A: Stay focused, just do me and try my best. As long as I know I tried my best, I'll be happy with it.
Q: What's your favorite part about being a gymnast?
A: It's humbling. Just showing my ability to other people. Being able to use my knowledge and help younger people that look up to me.
Q: Do people get surprised when they see you're a freshman?
A: They're all pretty surprised I think for the most part. … They all want to be my friend. I make lots of new friends (at events).