Kentridge's Hoekman ready to make a run at league title, state meet

Kentridge’s Ellie Hoekman works on her routine on the balance beam.  - Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter
Kentridge’s Ellie Hoekman works on her routine on the balance beam.
— image credit: Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter

Gymnast Ellie Hoekman stands in a corner of the room and abruptly breaks into a run, leaping, vaulting, somersaulting and spinning through the air to finish her floor routine with a salute and victorious smile.

Hoekman, a senior at Kentridge High School, has spent the last several weeks preparing for the sub-district meet and is eyeing a possible South Puget Sound League title in her last year as a gymnast.

Hoekman has spent much of her life in sports. She's been a gymnast since she was 3, but she says that her love of the sports doesn't come from the competition but from her teammates. While she calls herself a social butterfly, Hoekman says that her true friendships come from the sports and activities she's a part of.

"I think where my friendship is in my team. Those teams are where my true friends are," she said. "They're the reason I stay in the sport. The sport is great but I wouldn't love it at all if it weren't for the relationships I get from the sport."

Despite her multi-sport background, Hoekman says she's not planning on pursuing diving, track or gymnastics in college. She'd rather perform for an audience.

"I don't have to smile during a pole vault, and I like that, I like performances. I don't get that with track or diving."

She enjoys the performance aspect of gymnastics the most, similar to her theater work. "The funnest part for me is performing for an audience," she said.

With this in mind, Hoekman is considering joining the cheer squad at Washington State University, which would combine her gymnastic talents as well as allowing her to perform in front of a crowd.

She's considering a medical major at the school, but has yet to seriously make up her mind. But with her athletic and theatrical talents and friendly personality, she'll have many options in the next four years.

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