Farmington senior captain Kylie Wharton is trying to bounce back from a knee injury suffered at the beginning of the 2013-14 gymnastics season.
“This past offseason was especially crucial because I’m coming back from an ACL tear, which prevented me from competing last season,” Wharton said. “I practice with the coaches and girls from Rosemount in the summer, and I practice in Bloomington in the spring and fall. I think the offseason is almost as fun as competing itself because of the amazing girls and coaches I get to hang out with.”
Here is a closer look at Wharton:
Q: What is the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?
A: “The Great Gatsby” and “The Da Vinci Code.”
Q: Three songs I never skip on my iPod are …
A: … “Sugar” by Maroon 5; “Summer Nights” by Rascal Flatts, and “Somewhere In My Car” by Keith Urban.
Q: Three words your friends or teammates might use to describe you?
A: It’s kind of funny, but I feel like I have a double life sometimes. My friends at school would probably describe me as quiet, reserved and diligent. But, when it comes to the gymnastics team, they’d probably say witty, competitive and leader. Oh, and maybe white. Redhead plus lack of sun in the winter plus leotard equals ghostly.
Q: At my first varsity practice, I was …
A: … young and out of place. As an eighth-grader, I was totally new to high school sports and scared. I didn’t know anyone, and I felt like I didn’t belong. As the season progressed, though, I felt at home on the team.
Q: Your goals for the 2014-15 season?
A: Most importantly, I want to have a fun senior year because this will be the last time I ever compete in gymnastics. I also want to be the best captain I can be and support my team toward our goal of reaching a team score of 140. Individually, I’d love to get a 9.5 on any event. I’ve gotten so close so many times. Hopefully, this is the year. And, getting to the state meet in 2015 would be a huge honor.
Q: What is your most memorable moment as a high-school athlete?
A: Competing on the balance beam at the Class 2A state meet in 2013. I really had no expectations, and at that point I was just extremely happy to be there. The best part was that I knew girls from all over (Rosemount, Bloomington, etc.), and many of them are close friends today. I loved watching them and cheering them on. I really felt special because three of my closest friends from school came to watch, and my entire team was in the stands. The moment I landed my dismount and hugged my coach is one I replay in my head over and over. On top of it all, I came in seventh place.
Q: If you could change one thing about high school sports, what would it be?
A: Selfishly, I wish gymnastics would get as much publicity and support as football. And, I wish some parents would take the pressure off of their kids to perform perfectly. The actual game is a fraction of the importance of the life skills and relationships you make on a team.
Q: In 10 years, I hope I’m …
A: … serving my country in the U.S. Air Force.
Q: What is the best sports advice you ever received?
A: My offseason coach always says, “Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang.” In gymnastics, it’s important to not over think, and just go for it. He has a fun way of saying it. Also, my parents stress the importance of sticking with my commitments, even if it’s hard. My grandma says to have fun and stay healthy which, I guess, is the best advice there is.