ABOUT Rachael Lukacs

2018

Rachael Lukacs

Hometown:
Hillsborough, New Jersey

Age:
18

Gym:
North Stars Gymnastics Academy
Boonton, New Jersey

Qualifying Meet:
Tampa Bay Turners Invitational

            Bio

Twitter: rachael_lukacs

Instagram: rachael_lukacs

Do you have a nickname? Rach

When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics? I started gymnastics when I was five. I started for therapeutic reason. I was knocked kneed when I was younger.

Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes? The funniest memory has to be when I was a Level 7-8 learning Yurchenko vaults. I was pretty young and I couldn’t get over the vault and flip, so I would push off the vault using both of my hands and feet.

When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete at a high level? What about competition appeals to you? I started competing when I was six at level 4. I wanted to start competing at a high level at ten years old. What I love most about competing is being able to express myself and be able to show all the time and effort put into training.

What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics? I train four and half hours for five days a week. The biggest change was adding more hours. I had to build up physical and mental stamina when I was younger to handle the transition.

What is your favorite event? Vault

What is your favorite skill? Double layout on floor

What music do you use for your floor routine? I would describe it as dubstep tango

Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”? Shawn Johnson

How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally? Throughout gymnastics, I’ve been able to learn many life lessons. I’ve learned to never give up, understand my body and time management.

How has gymnastics helped you as a person? It has helped me to appreciate everything that life has to offer. It has helped me gain confidence in myself.

If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be? Patience. I struggle with frustration like most gymnasts. Being able to control my emotions has been one of my goals. This applies to life as well.

What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career? Winning Nastia Cup in 2016 and Nationals the three years

What grade are you in school? Senior

Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics? Yes, I am attending the University of Georgia

What are your favorite subjects, etc.? English

If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there? Criminal Justice

What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing? Become an All American in college and help bring my team to a national title. Possibly get a job with the FBI.

When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities? I enjoy spending time with family an friends. When it’s warm I love going to the beach. I am apart of the Caritas ministry in my church.

What is your favorite food? Chinese food

What is your favorite movie? Grown Ups

What is your favorite book? I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez

What is your favorite music group? Florida Georgia Line

Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports? My grandfather was a baseball player, my other grandfather did gymnastics, my dad was a wrestler and is a wrestling coach, my mom was a softball player and my brother played lacrosse and wrestled.

Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms? Before each meet I have sushi the night before. I always get blessed and pray before every meet.

What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up? Rap and hip hop for sure. I mainly listen to that and have some country songs in that playlist.

If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they? Determined, strong and powerful

2017

Rachael Lukacs

Hometown:
Hillsborough, New Jersey

Age:
17

Gym:
North Stars Gymnastics Academy
Boonton, New Jersey

Qualifying Meet:
Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational

            Bio

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A:
Rach

Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete at a high level? What about competition appeals to you?
A:
I started competing when I was six-years-old and just fell in love with the sport.

Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
A:
I train six days a week (five hours a day).

Q: What is your favorite event?
A:
My favorite event is vault.

Q: What is your favorite skill?
A:
A double layout – I love that skill!

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
A:
My floor music is a mix of dubstep and tango.

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
A:
Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin have always been my idols because they worked so hard for their accomplishments. Having the opportunity to compete in a meet named after Nastia is such an honor.

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
A:
Gymnastics has taught me that not everything comes easy. You have to work hard to achieve your goals.

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
A:
Patience. It’s one of the keys not only to gymnastics but to life as well. Opportunities will come when the time is right.

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
A:
Scoring a 10.00 on vault, being a three-time Junior Olympic National Champion, qualifying for the Nastia Cup four times and winning the senior title in 2016.

Q: What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
A:
I’m a junior at Bound Brook High School.

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
A:
I am verbally committed to the University of Georgia. UGA has been my dream school since fourth grade.

Q: What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
A:
Math and Spanish

Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
A:
Criminal Justice

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
A:
I want to compete at JO Nationals again and hopefully, become an All-American in college. After college, I want to get a job with the FBI.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A:
Chinese food

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A:
Grown Ups

Q: What is your favorite book?
A:
Courage to Soar

Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
A:
My dad wrestled, my mom played softball, my brother played lacrosse and wrestled, and my grandfather was drafted by the Detroit Tigers (baseball).

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
A:
I go to church before every meet and pray for my team, for my protection from injury, and sportsmanship. It gives me a sense of peace.

Q: If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
A:
Determined, Powerful, Focused

2016

Rachael Lukacs

Hometown:
Hillsborough, New Jersey

Age:
16

Gym:
North Stars Gymnastics Academy
Boonton, New Jersey

Qualifying Meet:
Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational

            Bio

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: Rach

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
A: I started gymnastics when I was 4. I initially started for therapeutic reasons, and then, I fell in love with the sport.

Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
A: When I was learning a Yurchenko, I kept doing a back handspring onto the vault. I would use my hands and feet to push off the table.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete at a high level? What about competition appeals to you?
A: I knew that gymnastics was going to be a big part of my life when I was young, so I just tried to do my very best.

Q: What is your favorite event?
A: My favorite event is vault because it gives me a chance show off my power.

Q: What is your favorite skill?
A: My favorite skill is a double layout.

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
A: My favorite gymnasts have always been Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. It’s an amazing experience to compete in a meet named after Nastia.

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
A: I understand that it takes a lot of patience to be successful and not everything comes easy.

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
A: Scoring a 10.00 on vault and being a two-time Junior Olympic National champion. Also, I qualified to the Nastia Cup three times.

Q: What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
A: I’m a sophomore at Bound Brook High School.

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
A: I am verbally committed to the University of Georgia, UGA has been my dream school since fourth grade.

Q: What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
A: Algebra, I love solving equations. It’s fun for me to solve a hard problem.

Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
A: I plan to study criminal justice or psychology. It seems like a really cool job.

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
A: I want to compete at J.O. Nationals again and hopefully become an All-American in college. After college, I would like to get a job with the FBI.

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
A: I like to spend time with my family friends and going to the beach.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Chinese food

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Stick It

Q: What is your favorite music group?
A: Justin Bieber, J Cole and Drake

Q: What’s on your iPod right now?
A: I like listening to rap, hip-hop, and pop.

Q: If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
A: Powerful, determined and focused

2015

Rachael Lukacs

Hometown:
Hillsborough, New Jersey

Age:
15

Gym:
North Stars Gymnastics Academy
Boonton, New Jersey

Qualifying Meet:
Classic Rock Invitational

            Bio

1. Name, Age, Hometown
Rachael Lukacs, 15, Hillsborough NJ

2. Do you have a nickname?
“Rach”

3. In what cities do you live, train and go to school?
I live in Hillsborough, N.J.; I train in Boonton, N.J.; I go to school in Bound Brook, N.J.

4. When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
I became interested in gymnastics at the age of 4, but initially started because of therapeutic reasons. Then, fell in love with the excitement I felt when learning new skills and competing.

5. Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
One of my funniest memories I have from when I started gymnastics was when I was in Level 7-8 learning Yurchenko vaults. I was pretty young, and I couldn’t get over the vault and flip. So, I would push off the vault using both my hands and feet.

6. When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete on the elite level? What about competition appeals to you?
I’m not sure I actually knew the entire realm of competing. I went from classes to pre-team to team within a year. I was only 6 years old and in kindergarten. The intensity of competing is what appeals to me the most.

7. What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
My team trains six days a week. I can’t remember not training, especially since I started team at the age of 6.

8. What is your favorite event?
Vault and Floor

9. What is your favorite skill?
Yurchenko double full

10. What music do you use for your floor routine?
It’s very intense music.

11. Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
My favorite gymnast has to be Shawn Johnson.

12. How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
I have grown in many ways, but learning to be patient with myself and my skills has been my biggest area of growth.

13. How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
Gymnastics has taught me respect, discipline, and most of all setting goals. So much can be accomplished if you set goals.

14. If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
One life-lesson is to set goals that are obtainable and work towards your dreams because they do come true one step at a time.

15. What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
My biggest accomplishments would have to be getting a 10.00 on Vault, placing third at the 2014 Nastia Liukin Cup, as well as winning the 2014 J.O. Nationals all-around and vault titles.

16. What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
I am a freshman at Bound Brook High School

17. Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
Yes, I am currently verbally committed to the University of Georgia and plan to compete for their team.

18. What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
Math and Science.

19. If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
I plan to study criminal Justice.

20. What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
My goals are to become National Champion, both in USA Gymnastics and NCAA.

21. When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
Between school and gym, it doesn’t leave me a lot of time, but I do love spending time with my family and friends.

22. What is your favorite food?
I love Chinese food.

23. What is your favorite movie?
My favorite two movies are Stick It and If I Stay.

24. What is your favorite book?
Grace Gold and Glory: My Leap Of Faith By Gabrielle Douglas

25. What is your favorite music group?
My favorite music group would have to be 5 Seconds of Summer.

26. Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
My dad was a wrestler and is currently a wrestling coach. My mom played softball. My brother wrestled and played lacrosse. My grandfather played baseball, and my other grandfather was a gymnast.

27. Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
I go to church before every meet and pray for my team, for my protection from injury, and sportsmanship. It gives me a sense of peace.

28. What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
Right now, I am listening to pop and hip-hop. When it comes time to compete, it is anything with a good beat.

29. If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
Powerful, focused and determined.

30. What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
Spiritual, responsible and strong.

2014

Rachael Lukacs

Hometown:
Hillsborough, New Jersey

Age:
14

Gym:
North Stars Gymnastics Academy
Boonton, New Jersey

Qualifying Meet:
Parkettes Invitational

            Bio

Q: Do you have a nickname?
“Rach”

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
“I became interested in gymnastics at the age of four, but initially started because of therapeutic reasons. Then fell in love with the excitement I felt when learning new skills and competing.”

Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
“The funniest memory has to be when I was a Level 7-8 learning Yurchenko vaults. I was pretty young and I couldn’t get over the vault and flip, so I would push off the vault using both of my hands and feet.”

Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete? What about competition appeals to you?
“I’m not sure I actually knew the entire realm of competing. I went from classes to pre-team to team within a year. I was only 6-years-old and in kindergarten. The intensity of competing is what appeals to me the most.”

Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
“My team trains six days a week. I can’t ever remember not training, especially since I started team at the age of six.”

Q: What is your favorite event?
“Vault.”

Q: What is your favorite skill?
“Yurchenko double full.”

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
“Woodwind by Kiva and Alan.”

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
“My favorite gymnast is Shawn Johnson, but my idol will always be Mary Lou Retton.”

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
“I have grown in many ways, but learning to be patient with myself and my skills has been my biggest area of growth.”

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
“Gymnastics has taught me respect, discipline and, most of all, to set goals. So much can be accomplished if you set goals.”

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
“One life-lesson is to set goals that are obtainable and work towards your dream because they do come true one step at a time.”

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
“My biggest accomplishment to date is scoring a 10.00 on vault at the 2014 Parkettes Invitational.”

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
“Yes.”

Q: What are your favorite subjects in school?
“Math and writing.”

Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
“I plan to study criminal justice.”

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
“My goals are to become a national champion, both in USA Gymnastics and NCAA.”

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
“Between school and the gym, it doesn’t leave me a lot of time, but I do love spending time with my family and friends.”

Q: What is your favorite food?
“I don’t have a favorite, but I love all kinds of mushrooms.”

Q: What is your favorite movie?
“‘My two favorites are ‘Stick It’ and ‘Grown Ups 2.'”

Q: What is your favorite book?
“‘Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith’ by Gabrielle Douglas.”

Q: Who is your favorite musician?
“One Direction.”

Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
“My dad was a wrestler and is currently a wrestling coach. My mom played softball. My brother wrestled and played lacrosse. My grandfather played baseball and my other grandfather was a gymnast.”

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
“I go to church before every meet and pray for my team, for my protection from injury, and sportsmanship. It gives me a sense of peace.”

Q: What’s on your iPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
“Right now I am listening to pop and hip-hop. When it comes time to compete, it is anything with a good beat.”

Q: If you had to pick three words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
“Powerful, focused and determined.”

Q: What three words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
“Spiritual, responsible and strong.”