It’s Sunday!!! That means it’s Senior Sunday! We are getting to the end of recognizing our 2020 Graduating Seniors, many of them are getting ready to head off to their respective Universities here in the next few weeks. To start an exciting new chapter in this very crazy new world of masks & social distancing.
Lauren Kramer, of Aerial Gymnastics in Illinois, graduated from Downers Grove North High School with Distinguished Honors. Lauren was a member of the National Honor Society, she was an AP Scholar with Distinction as well as an Illinois State Scholar Student. As part of the Aerial Gymnastics Team Lauren earned the 2018 Aerial Excellence Award. In a few weeks Lauren will be packing up and heading to Brown University in Massachusetts
where she will be studying Mechanical Engineering & competing on the Gymnastics Team. Let’s get to know Lauren a little better as she gets ready to say her goodbyes to friends, family & teammates and start the next chapter as a Brown Bear.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I was six
when I was first introduced to gymnastics. My family had just moved to northern California and they needed an activity to get me out of the house so that they could unpack without my constant distractions. Seeing that gymnastics classes were pretty long, they signed me up at a local university. I immediately fell in love with the sport! We later moved to Illinois, and I have continued in gymnastics ever since
What is your favorite event? Why? Beam is my favorite event because I like the combination of tumbling and dance elements. I also love how all the skills and dance elements in beam routines have a nice flow, despite the mental and physical precision required
Favorite Skill to train/compete? Why? My favorite skill is a side
aerial to scale hold on beam. I love how it combines some of the biggest elements of gymnastics like power, flight, and grace all into one skill.
Dream Skill? Double layout on any event, I love how they look!
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? I love the challenge and variety of skills. When learning new skills, it’s the most rewarding feeling to figure out how to apply a correction and nail the skill! We attempt skills countless times making subtle adjustments, and it is satisfying when this hard work results in success. I also love that there are always more new skills we can learn in gymnastics!
What college do you plan on attending? Why? I will be attending Brown University to continue my academic and gymnastics career. Brown really appealed to me because it offered the perfect balance of gymnastics and academics. I can explore my academic passions through their unique Open Curriculum while continuing my gymnastics career. I plan to study engineering or computer science
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? I love to compete at the LGA Lucky Invite because it’s a fun meet and a great opportunity to make any last minute polishing touches on routines before state. I love that everyone including the judges go all out for the St. Patrick’s Day theme.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? Either balancing 11
AP classes with level 10 gymnastics throughout high school or committing to Brown University!
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? I like the GymnastEye series because it’s really cool to see what other gymnasts see while they’re doing their unique skills! I also like to watch the OMG moments every year!
3 Things you could not live without? My family, hope, and music are 3 things I could not live without
If you could have 1 superpower what would it be? If I could have 1 superpower it would be the ability to time travel
Discuss not being able to finish your senior season like you had hoped. When I heard that my senior season was cancelled, I was pretty disappointed because I had a lot of momentum leading into the postseason. I was excited to add the last few upgrades into my routines! I have not been able to fully compete since my freshman year in high school because I had shoulder surgery on both shoulders. I was very excited to compete and make up for what I had missed out on while recovering. However, I understand the importance of social distancing and hope we soon have a clear path forward!
What are you doing to keep up your training during Corona Quarantine? I’ve been doing team zoom calls with my Aerial Gymnastics team and also with my Brown University team. These have been really great for me to workout and have fun with other people! I also have gotten really into HIIT workouts! I enjoy the variety and fast pace of these workouts.
What do you miss most about gymnastics during this time? I miss spending over 20 hours a week with my teammates and best friends
What will you miss most about being part of Region 5? I’ll miss competing with some of the most amazing gymnasts in the country at all of the meets! Region 5 has so much talent and I really enjoy seeing the amazing skills that all of these gymnasts have. Throughout the years, my peers have given me so much to look up to and learn from!
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? At
level 10 state meet in 2017, I was doing a backwards shoulder roll in my floor routine, and I got stuck on my bun. Instead of continuing the choreography that I had down on the floor, I stood up and held a pose for a really long time before my music caught up again.
Do you have a nickname? If so, what Is the story behind it? I have two nicknames, My teammates call me Lo. When I was really young, my coach started to call me Lolo because she thought it better fit my high energy level and bouncy personality. It stuck to this day! My coach Don (McPherson) calls me Avery because I went to a local K-8 for gifted kids called Avery Coonley.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? I have a lot of respect for Katherine Switzer. She is the first woman to be officially entered into and complete the Boston Marathon. I respect her courage to run this race knowing the potential consequences considering the expectations for women during that time.
Something you learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you? Gymnastics has taught me how to productively continue moving forward in face of obstacles. Similarly to focusing on one skill at a time in a routine, I can focus one one thing at a time and any obstacles that I face become smaller and more manageable
Most Memorable Gymnastics or Nationals Moment? My most memorable gymnastics moment is when I qualified to state in my first meet after my second shoulder surgery! Especially because I competed on two events without using my arms at all! I was competing to have fun and get back out on the competition floor and it ended up being a great meet considering the circumstances!
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? Don gave me an interesting perspective on how to look at meets. He said something along the lines of, meets are simply the place where you pick up the trophies that you earn in practice.
How do you want to be remembered, but us here in Region 5 as well as your home club & teammates? I hope to be remembered as someone who tried their hardest in school and gymnastics and successfully found a balance between them.
What is something special your friends, family, school, coaches or teammates, have done for you during this quarantine to make missing out on those special senior moments a little easier to handle. My principal came to my house to congratulate me on being a graduate with high honors distinction and bring me a yard sign! It was a total surprise and I was shocked to see that she had the time to visit students considering there are over 500 students in my graduating class! My family has plans to throw me a signing party at some point. For Ivy League schools, you typically sign your acceptance letter at a signing event. However COVID has postponed the mailing of acceptance letters to those who did not receive them in the winter. So, as soon as I receive my acceptance letter, I’ll have the party! My prom and graduation have been officially cancelled so I’ll probably do something fun with my family and friends later this summer!
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. I love to crochet and make friendship bracelets! I make a lot of hats and “spa cloths” that I donate to those in need. I’ve also wholeheartedly welcomed the revival of friendship bracelets and I love making them!