Sports

Kentwood senior propels to success | Gymnastics

Kentwood’s Delanie Cornwell works on a routine on the bar during practice Tuesday afternoon. sarah kehoe, The Reporter - Sarah Kehoe, The Reporter
Kentwood’s Delanie Cornwell works on a routine on the bar during practice Tuesday afternoon. sarah kehoe, The Reporter
— image credit: Sarah Kehoe, The Reporter

It was watching Olympic gymnasts on YouTube elegantly moving on the balance beam that made Delanie Cornwell want to be a gymnast.

“It looked so cool and I wanted to learn how to do everything they did,” said Cornwell, 18.

Cornwell started gymnastics in seventh grade, falling in love with the sport right away.

“At first everything was just fun and not taken too seriously,” she said. “Then I went to high school and it’s still fun, but we have to work really hard and prepare ourselves more, which I like better.”

The senior at Kentwood High School is excelling this year and is meeting the goals she set for herself in the past few meets. During her last invitational meet against Auburn Mountainview High School, Cornwell took third place in the balance beam and bars.

“The pressure from the meets is a good thing for me because it pushes me to be better,” she said.

Cornwell credits her coaches, teammates and work ethic for her success.

“There are some things that come easily to me, but some things that take awhile,” Cornwell said. “Luckily I have great coaches that encourage me at every moment and that helps a lot. Also, there are some girls that have been doing gymnastics since they were five and they have a lot of advice for us.”

Cornwell’s coaches are impressed with the positivity she brings to the team.

“She always has a great attitude and is such a hard worker,” said Coach Ann Diaz.

Cornwell is also enjoying the role of captain this year.

“I really like helping the girls out and having them come to me with questions,” she said. “What keeps me motivated the most is feeling that all these girls are relying on me. All my teammates are really talented and will accomplish great things.”

All the girls on Cornwell’s team are close friends.

“The best part of being on the team is the girls,” Cornwell said. “We become like a family because we spend so much time together and go through similar things. We never stop talking after the seasons ends, so, it’s really a lifelong friendship.”

Cornwell hopes to take her talents to college.

“I know that no matter what happens I will keep gymnastics a big part of my life,” she said. “But I do hope to make it onto a team in college.”

In addition to gymnastics, Cornwell enjoys outdoor activities such as snowboarding, wake-boarding, camping and swimming.

“I just like to do anything active basically,” she said.

Cornwell took advanced placement classes last year and is enrolled in running start classes at Green River Community College this year. She has already received academic scholarship offers from Oregon State University, University of Idaho and Washington State University.

“I’m not sure what the future holds, but I do know I will be coming back to Kentwood to watch gymnastics meets and keep in touch with everyone,” Cornwell said. “I love this sport and all that this team has given me.”

Kentwood hosted the All- City Meet Jan. 25 after the Reporter’s deadline.

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