- Our Sites
- The News-Gazette
- NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM
- Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS
- 107.9 WKIO
- Community News
Garret Waterstradt has been honored as one of the nation’s top gymnasts again.
The Paxton-Buckley-Loda junior-to-be, who competes with Irish’s Gymnastics out of Gilman, was selected as the national Athlete of the Year by the United States Tumbling and Trampoline Association (USTA) over the weekend for his many feats of the past year.
In addition to taking the overall award that goes to just one individual, Waterstradt was also awarded the Griswold-Nissen Cup Athlete of the Year award in each of his three individual events: the trampoline, the double-mini and tumbling.
At the USTA National Championships that took place from June 19-23 in Madison, Wis., Waterstradt took first place in advanced tumbling for 15-16-year-olds, tied for first in advanced double-mini for 15-16-year-olds and won the elite tumbling competition for those of all ages. He also took third place in advanced synchro trampoline along with partner Mark Ostrander of Irish’s Gymnastics.
The Griswold-Nissen Cup Award that he won was established by Mr. George Nissen and Mr. Larry Griswold, who both pioneered the sport of trampolining in the 1930s and 1940s, to honor a young man or woman for their excellence in the sports of trampoline, tumbling and the double-mini. Nominations for this coveted award are made by the USTA coaches and officials throughout the United States. The minimum age to be nominated for the Nissen-Griswold Cup is 15 years old.
Waterstradt wasn’t the only Irish’s Gymnastics athlete to garner a top honor.
Danielle Meister, who has competed for Irish’s Gymnastics for nine years, won the Athlete Memorial Scholarship. The USTA Athlete Memorial Scholarship was established by the USTA in memory of past USTA athletes. The board of directors selects a recipient from outstanding graduating high school senior or college athletes who are nominated by USTA coaches throughout the United States.
While competing against a total of 123 other teams, Irish athletes earned 45 individual top-10 finishes, with many of those being first-, second- or third-place finishes. The athletes also worked together as a team to bring home five event trophies and a third place Top Overall Team trophy for double-mini trampoline.
Irish athletes who made the trip to nationals to compete at the Alliant Energy Center were Bailey Bruns, Summer Buff, Gracie Bradshaw, Brittney Billerbeck, Rodney Billerbeck, Ashley Burnett, Clementine Craft, Ella Curry, Madison Engler, Kerrigan Engler, Catlyn Ekstrom, Cacie Ekstrom, Halen Eshleman, Kendyl Enghausen, Ashlee Freeman, Sindralynn Gerdes, Connor Hall, Taylor Hannagan, Ciara Henry, Mallory Johnson, Jarret Kerkes, Faith McDermott, Rachel McGreal, Danielle Meister, Josh Ostrander, Mark Ostrander, Sophia Plummer, Kendra Snelling, Paige Sickler, Madisyn Shambrook, Kandi Scrimpsher, Alaina Sher, Jaycee Vaughan, Garret Waterstradt, Kaelyn Welp and Delani Zoller.
Irish’s Gymnastics is located in Gilman. It offers year round recreational and competitive classes as well as summer camps for ages four and up. Call 815-265-4728 for class or camp information.