Determination will pay off for Zirbes

Maria Supan, Business Editor

Hardworking athletes have a strong desire to reach the top level of a sport they are passionate about. Although this dream becomes a reality to very few athletes, freshman Ella Zirbes, a young 14 old gymnast, is climbing her way to the Elite team. She proves to athletes this desire can definitely become a reality.

Zirbes explained the fact she is getting better and going up a level each year motivates her every day.

Balancing multiple classes at school, and training as a full time athlete can be very demanding. Young athletes sustain high amounts of endurance and stamina in countless ways. A majority of high schoolers are athletes, although few reach the top. Zirbes is one of the few student athletes who is able to sustain training of 26 hours per week on average, and a full time commitment to her education everyday.

Photo submitted by Jane Zirbes
Ninth grade gymnast Ella Zirbes signs autographs for her fans at the U.S. Championships. This was held in Kansas City Missouri last August. Fans crowd Zirbes with shirts and merchandise to sign.

“Elite level gymnastics is the ultimate personal challenge of the human mind, body and emotion. Ella is a fierce competitor who likes to challenge herself on a daily basis to be a better gymnast, athlete and person. Along with those daily challenges, she enjoys the successes of her hard work,” Zirbes’ coach Bart Roskoski explained.

On average, the teen population starts college searching around the ages of 16 and 17. Zirbes is ahead of the college hunt, and her next big step in life is all planned out.

Zirbes has already committed to a college within her eighth grade year. The University of Utah offered Zirbes a scholarship for their gymnastics program when she attends in four years during 2023. Zirbes chose the University of Utah long before her peers and gymnasts within the 14-year-old age group have even thought about this giant step in their education.

“I got an offer from Minnesota, Utah and Oklahoma, but overall I felt that I’d be the happiest at Utah. I know I committed in eighth grade so I was pretty young, but we didn’t want to wait, we just wanted to commit,” Zirbes explained.

Zirbes quickly expanded her gymnast ability after she started competing in 2013. Gymnastics competitions soon became more intense, and her competitors struggled to keep up with the accelerated pace of new techniques Zirbes is exposed to everyday.

She is basically learning new skills and techniques every day. While they fine tune the routines they will be performing during their meet season, they are constantly working upgrades to increase their score value”

— Jane Zirbes

She has won all state, regional and national championships four years in a row. She has moved up multiple practice levels each year since 2013, and has now reached the prime elite level of gymnastics.

“She is basically learning new skills and techniques every day. While they fine tune the routines they will be performing during their meet season, they are constantly working upgrades to increase their score value,” Zirbes’ mother Jane Zirbes explained.

Zirbes is a young, talented athlete who has so much potential and is rapidly climbing her way to the top of gymnastics. This driven athlete has truly shown other athletes what hard work really looks like. She has clearly proven to athletes how determination and strength can influence many teenagers life long professional athlete career. Roskoski explained, “this past August’s U.S. Championships Ella was asked to sign dozens of autographs after each day of competition from fans.” Zirbes is an outstanding role model to all students hoping to succeed as an athlete.

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