A three-sport high school athlete is a rare breed today.
A three-sport high school athlete who competes in three state meets is even rarer.
gymnast, diver and pole vaulter , a junior, is on her way to achieving that rare status.
“I want to go to State in three sports,” Stitcher said. She has made the grade in two—diving and gymnastics—and just missed in the third last spring as a sophomore.
In November, . Last February, she was in gymnastics. In May, she barely missed making the grade as a pole vaulter.
“At Sectional, I tried for the qualifying height (10-3) on my last vault and just missed,” Stitcher said. “I’m very competitive. I’m very hard on myself,” she added explaining why she has confidence she will be at three state meets.
The last time a Warrior went to three state tournaments in a trio of sports was 1999 when Angie Rabl achieved the status in gymnastics, tennis and badminton, according to veteran gymnastics .
Stitcher began as a gymnast when she was 6 when her father put her in a class and was competing two years later. She did not begin diving or pole vaulting until she started high school. She began to like them both, especially diving.
“I didn’t believe I could do as well as I can do,” Stitcher said about adding diving to her athletic repertoire as a freshman. My coach believes I’m just getting started.”
Stitcher, Myers and diving all see similarities in the three sports. Stitcher sees a more direct connection between gymnastics and diving.
“Tumbling on the floor is similar to what you do when you’re diving,” Stitcher said. “Body control comes from gymnastics.
Foerch has seen a number of gymnasts become divers. He recognizes the similarity between the sports and sees Stitcher’s special talent in both.
“She has good strength, she’s very flexible and a hard worker,” Foerch said of traits shared by gymnastics and diving. “She has a good kinetic sense,” he added describing her ability to perform upside down.
Myers also understands the connection between the pole vault and the vault event in gymnastics where Stitcher has excelled.
“You have a run, a hard run, a vault, a turn and a landing,” Myers said comparing the two sports. “You have to move to be upside down (in both).”
As much as anything, Foerch likes Stitcher’s work ethic. “She’s the only one who never missed a practice all year,” he said.
When Stitcher, who takes honors classes, describes her lifestyle her attitude toward success comes out. “I go to school, go to practice, do my homework and get up the next day and do the same thing,” she said. “My friends tell me I should do other things but I like it this way.”
As much as she likes all three activities, she has already decided diving will be her college sport. She has mentioned schools like Notre Dame and Duke as possibilities.
“The scholarship opportunities are better in diving,” Stitcher said. “Besides, I’ve been doing gymnastics a long time and I don’t love it as much anymore.” That attitude does not show up in the gym, according to Myers.
Why is Stitcher pursuing all three sports with such passion? The answer is very simple. “I like all three,” she said.