Gymnast Savanna Dunwoody prepares for Junior Olympic Nationals

Ruthie Wehrung will also attend the JO Nationals as the 1st Alternate

SPEARFISH, S.D. – Gymnastics is a sport that requires focus, strength and agility.

In fact, many of the athletes that train at the Spearfish Gymnastics Academy have been committed to those demands for quite some time.

For Savanna Dunwoody, her hard work is paying off in a big way.

She’s preparing to compete against the best gymnasts in the country.

Savanna Dunwoody is preparing for the ultimate challenge.

Next week, the Level 10 gymnast will travel to Indianapolis for the Junior Olympic National Championships.

“I’m kind of nervous,” Savanna Dunwoody said. “But I’m just going to think of it again like regionals. And it is my last meet this time. So I can just have fun with it and meet all the new people and make some new friends.”

The 11-year old qualified for the national meet after her strong performance recently at the Region 4 Gymnastics Championships in Iowa.

“She was third at regionals and you had to be finish in the top ten,” Spearfish Gymnastics Academy coach Chris Summers said. “She was also the Jr. A regional vault champion which is a big deal.”

Dunwoody, who trains at the Spearfish Gymnastics Academy, is making her first ever trip to the Junior Olympic Nationals to compete in the Jr. A Division.

“I visualize my routines a lot in my head and I just work really hard,” Dunwoody said. “I imagine myself in practice, imagine myself at nationals doing it and that helps me a lot to not be less nervous.”

Dunwoody won’t be making the trip to Indianapolis alone.

Her teammate, nine-year old Ruthie Wehrung, will also attend the Junior Olympic Nationals as the 1st Alternate.

“It’s really cool and I know I was so close from like getting to the team,” Ruthie Wehrung said. “While I have so many years after this and I know its just my first year and I’ll do better next year.” 

“Ruthie finished as the first alternate which meant she finished in eighth,” Summers said. “But she was only one tenth out of qualifying, as well.

Coach Summers is excited for Savanna and Ruthie for all of their accomplishments this season despite their young ages.

“They’ve come so far this year,” Summers said. “At the age they are, they’ve got a huge career ahead of them still. And its just going to be really exciting to watch these two and where they’re going to go in the next five or six years.”

Categories: High School, Sports