1. Name, Age, Hometown
MaKenna Merrell, 17, Pleasant Grove, Utah
2. Do you have a nickname?
3. When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
My mom is a gymnastics coach. She brought me into the gym when I was eight days old and I’ve basically lived there ever since.
4. Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
I was so small when I started competing that they could only put one spring right in the middle of the springboard.
5. 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 really wanted to be like my older sister, who got to travel to meets around the country. I love when all of the practice and hard work pays off in a meet.
6. What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
Monday-Friday, 2:30-6:45. Making the switch was not that big of a deal because that’s what I have all ways wanted to do.
7. What is your favorite event?
Balance beam or uneven bars
8. What is your favorite skill?
Full-in, or flic-layout, layout
9. What music do you use for your floor routine?
It is a song called “Egyptic”; it is from “So You Think You Can Dance.”
10. Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
Simon Biles because she is always happy and positive.
11. How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
It has taught to be consistent and how to finish things that are difficult.
12. How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
Gymnastics has taught me discipline and team work.
13. If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
How to work through hard days.
14. What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
Some of my best memories are being offered a full-ride gymnastics scholarship to the University of Utah and qualifying for JO Nationals.
15. What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
I am a senior at Pleasant Grove High School.
16. What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
Biology and business management.
17. If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
Probably business administration.
18. What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
I want to be a part of a NCAA championship team, and after college, I want to open my own gym.
19. When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
I love to be with my family; my siblings and I are really close. I coach kids ages 4-5 in a level 2 gymnastics group with my mom and I love it!
20. What is your favorite food?
Salad and pasta.
21. What is your favorite movie?
22. What is your favorite book?
23. What is your favorite music group?
I love Taylor Swift.
24. Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
Every member of my family loves sports. My dad and brothers played football and baseball; my oldest sister played volleyball and softball; my mom did gymnastics and volleyball; and my sister competed gymnastics for Brigham Young University.
25. Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
I am not really a believer in “good luck charms.” I just go out and do my thing.
26. 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?
I like to listen to Disney songs to calm me down before a meet.
27. If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
Competitive, dedicated, and optimistic.
28. What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
Positive, eccentric, and cheerful.