Gymnastics: A trial of endurance


Sophomore gymnast and track member, Carlie Norzyk displays the metals of achievement she has earned in competition ranging from Scotland to the United States. Although Norzyk began gymnastics at the age of three-years old, and began track after coach Overgauuw suggested pole vault her freshman year, she recently injured herself after landing wrong while doing a flip on the beam.

Jessica Xilo, Parents & Teachers Editor

A determined athlete and caring teammate, Carlie Norczyk is a gymnast at the American Gymnastics Academy and has competed in both several states and countries throughout her athletic career.

At the age of three, the sophomore’s mother introduced her to the sport after realizing that she could do a cartwheel by herself. Since then, Norczyk has competed in different places and even became a part of the track team.

The young athlete was born in Michigan, but she has also lived in Texas, California, and Scotland. In addition to those places, she has competed in Nevada, Arizona, and Iowa. After living in a total of six cities and thirteen houses, her sport has become an important connection to new friends.

“Gymnastics lets me meet a lot of people. We all get along really quickly because we all are in the same situation and we all have to go through the same struggles,” Norczyk said.

She participates in four events including: bars, beam, floor, and vault; her favorite event is the beam.

“I like being able to say I can do that. It is the only sport that has that event. It is really scary but exciting at the same time,” the competitor said.

The sophomore was a 2010 Level 9 Western Nationals qualifier, which took place in Iowa. At nationals, she competed in a new team with different qualifiers from Southern California. She had never been to Iowa before, so she was excited to compete in a different state.

Coach Amy Overgauuw convinced her to try pole vault during her freshman year of high school after learning about her sport.

“I was in Coach Overgauuw’s class and she saw that I was a gymnast since I was wearing a [gymnast] t-shirt and she said, ‘Oh you should try this,’ ” Norczyk said.

She may have only begun pole vault as a freshman, but she was able to tie with Downey’s record for Frosh-Soph pole vault.

Sophomore Jasmine Parra is a friend and teammate from the track team. “She is funny. She is always dedicated and she never gives up,” Parra said.

Recently, Norczyk was injured after landing wrong while doing a flip on the beam. She will miss this season, but she remains hopeful because colleges will begin to keep an eye out for athletes during her next season when she is a junior. She is focusing on working harder to improve her skills.

Senior Evelyn Garcia is a teacher’s aid for the track team, and she is also a close friend of Norczyk’s. “She is really sweet. She works hard in school. She is very talkative and you can get along with her right away. Her injury has put her out of both her sports, but I believe she is going to recover fast,” Garcia said.

The sophomore hopes to continue gymnastics in college and her dream school is Arkansas State because of its interesting athletic program. Training four hours a day and five days a week takes a great amount of physical and mental strength, but she has developed a discipline that makes her want to work harder even when faced with obstacles.