FREEPORT (WREX) — Pierce Athletics in Freeport has produced hundreds of talented athletes over the years.
For 20 years now the gym has helped young athletes reach their full potential through tumbling.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun and we try to make sure here at the gym that we’re working on our kids being good kids not just good people," Head Coach and Owner, Angela Pierce said.
This summer, the gym qualified 20 athletes to compete at the USTA Nationals in Rochester, Minnesota.
“Never thought we’d be where we are, some of our training time was taken away by the pandemic and then we got back into the gym with lots of restrictions so what we’ve been able to accomplish after all of the restraints on them has truly been magical!," Pierce said.
The local athletes came back national champs. Bayley Pierce, took home the trophy for Athlete of the Year.
“It paid off, a lot of work in and I'm glad it finally happened," Elite Power Tumbler, Bayley Pierce said.
Bayley wasn't the only team member that had success, McKenna Dorty took first place after finishing 5th back to back years.
“I was super nervous... I was like oh my goodness and ran out to my mom immediately and I'm like I'm in first right now!," National Champion, McKenna Dorty said.
As their historical season comes to an end, the team said they're going to be tuned in to the biggest stage of all, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Many of the athletes said they will be watching the gymnastics portion, and cheering on Simone Biles.
Although tumbling isn't an official Olympic sport, the team is hopeful that one day it will be so they can compete at the highest level.