SP SF GYM Helland beam (Jones).jpg

St. Francis’ Summer Helland at the state meet a year ago. Helland placed 12th on beam and 17th in the all-around in Class AA. 

The feature

One of the top all-around gymnasts in the state, St. Francis senior Summer Helland will look to close strong as the Saints enter the final stretch of the regular season.

Start in gymnastics

“I started gymnastics when I was 5 years old. I was a child without fear and had a lot of energy, so my parents thought I might do well in this sport.”

Enjoy most about gymnastics

“I like working hard in the gym and learning advanced skills so that I’m able to do things that a lot of people can’t do.”

Best part of team

“They’re very supportive and will help push me through the difficult moments and cheer me on to be the best I can be. I also have amazing coaches that couldn’t be better.”

Favorite event

“My favorite event is vault because I love the excitement of running straight at a large stationary object and with a few quick moves I flip and fly over it landing safely on my feet on the other side.”

Something people might not realize about your sport

“Something people may not realize about gymnastics is that it takes a very long time to learn a new skill, so it requires a lot of patience with the process and dedication to the long hours in the gym that you need to put in to get what you want. The toughest part about the sport is that mentally you really need to be fearless. When you watch gymnastics, some gymnasts make it look carefree, but in reality it’s also intimidating and you can get hurt fairly easily.”

Top high school gymnastics memories

“My favorite memories are being able to compete. I love the competition. I also have had a lot of awesome moments with all the different combinations of girls every year, from screaming on the sidelines until we’re hoarse to having friendly rivalries ending in breaking ties with a standing long jump competition. Overall laughter is my best memory.”

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