Like many gymnasts, Brooke Siter always admired the elite gymnasts she'd see competing on TV. Siter decided at a young age that she would one day pursue her goal of competing on an elite level in gymnastics herself. This past weekend, at the KPAC Cup Elite National Qualifier meet, the 13-year old’s dream became a reality. “When they announced me as an elite qualifier I was so happy, I felt like all the hard work I had done finally paid off,” she said.
Siter began doing gymnastics at just 3 years old. She previously trained at Indigo Gymnastics before deciding to train at North Stars Gymnastics. Now, this is her third year competing with North Stars.
The KPAC Cup was held on March 9 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, NC. There were 29 junior elite participants and 11 qualified to compete as elite gymnasts. Siter placed first on the floor exercise and had the second highest all-around score in her session. However, Siter explained that the biggest highlight of her meet was bars. “It was my last event and I knew I had to do a really great bar routine to qualify,” she explained. “Warmups on bars didn’t go the greatest and I had to forget about the warm up and just do the best I could,” she added. To qualify to compete on an elite national level, a total score of 50.00 was needed, and Siter scored precisely that.
She is currently the only gymnast at North Stars competing on an elite national level. As a tradition at North Stars, when any gymnast at qualifies to compete on an elite level, a personalized purple wooden star is created for her and placed on a wall in the training facility. There are 30 stars on the wall, each representing a past gymnasts who competed as an elite. Siter’s star will be the 31st star on the wall and will join the star of her coach, Ashley Umberger, who was an elite gymnast from 1997-2001.
Siter’s next goal is to qualify to compete in the USA Gymnastics Championship. This meet determines which top-level gymnasts will earn a spot on the U.S. National Team. U.S. National Team members then represent the United States in international competitions.The 2017 USA Championship is scheduled to be held on June 27-July 2 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, WI.
Siter’s advice to younger gymnast who aspire to compete on an elite level one day is to “always train your best and always go that extra mile. Hard work pays off in the end and it will all be worth it.”