Champion all around


Freshman Keira Verespej smiles with joy as she wins the Region 4 Gymnastics Championships.

Jamison Hanway, Staff Reporter

Becoming champion is something rare for someone to achieve and is not taken for granted. This rare achievement has been accomplished for freshman Keira Verespej as she has won the regional championship for gymnastics. 

Verespej competed in the floor routine, bar, beam and floor. She ended up winning all four of those events.

Keira has been putting the hard work in, since she was two years old. Verespej has trained at the Omaha Gymnastics Academy.

“I train 16 hours a week,” Verespej said. “I do all four events everyday. We do floors, bar beam, floor, and an hour of conditioning, and 45 minutes of each event.”

  Verespej had competed in local meets and qualified for state, and that led to the regional competition. There were girls from all over the midwest, from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas.

She had arrived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the meet. When getting to the meet, she saw the other girls from the midwest. This was Keira’s first year attending regionals and she started to worry and become nervous. 

“When I went to regionals, it was really never racking because I had never been to regionals. This was my first year going and the girls are obviously better because they qualified for regionals, they had higher scores, so it was really near racking for me.” Verespej said.

She was able to overcome her fear by the help of her teammates, Coaches and her family.

“Hanging out with my teammates just calmed me down, and my coaches helped keep me calm and my heartbeat steady” Verespej said. 

Her family cheered her on while she competed at regionals. Verespej’s family has been in her corner since she started gymnastics.

“They told me to do my best, and that I’ve worked hard so try my best.

Verespej said.

Verespej’s journey is not over as she hopes to attend nationals next year and grow as a gymnast.

“Next year, keep doing gymnastics,” Verespej said. “I’m going to keep doing gymnastics and hopefully compete in college.”