Local gymnasts seek to compete at the highest level

Students improve their skills in gymnastics by conditioning and training several hours a day to achieve their ultimate goal of one day competing at the national level.

May 11, Sophomore Donovan Hewitt paved his way through the competitions and came in fourth overall for the entire country. “It felt exciting because it was a redemption from last year,” Hewitt says. Last year, when Hewitt competed for the USA, he came in ninth and 13th place for many of the events and didn’t get a single medal.

After not being satisfied with his results from the previous year, Hewitt took his training to the next level. On a typical day, he does three events for 45 minutes to an hour at Paragon Gymnastics in Columbia, Maryland. This led to Hewitt dominating the competitions for Team USA Gymnastics, where he came away with four medals overall.

Freshmen Nicholas Louloudes started doing gymnastics at age three. “I initially started because my parents were tired of me climbing on the furniture so they put me in gymnastic classes at Fairland Sports and Aquatics,” Louloudes says. Louloudes continued gymnastics because he enjoyed the sport so much. Louloudes has competed in at least 50 competitions throughout his whole gymnastics career and became good friends with Hewitt through gymnastics. They’ve now known each other for 11 years. Louloudes adds “He’s not just a teammate, but he’s also like a brother to me”

Hewitt and Louloudes have participated in lots of competitions at the state, regional, and national level, including their favorite one in Las Vegas.

Not only do Hewitt and Louloudes compete, but freshmen India Smith also does three hours of training a day, preparing for competitions at Hill’s Gymnastics in Gaithersburg Maryland. “[Even after] 3 hours a day we work on conditioning and after practice I still condition when I come home” Smith adds.

Although not being on the same team as the others, she still practices hard so one day she can move on from platinum to a higher level. Smith also gets to shows off her skills at the state level.

Their short term goal is to get offered a scholarship due to all the achievements they have accomplished in competitions. After that their ultimate goal is to compete in the 2020 Olympics for Team USA.