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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

The Georgia Student Finance Commission collaborated with 49 Georgia colleges to waive application fees in March. This removed barriers for Midtown students who were previously unable to apply to certain colleges.
Georgia Colleges waive application fees, remove barriers
Brennan FrittsApril 15, 2024

The Georgia Student Finance Commission partnered with nearly 50 colleges throughout Georgia to waive their application fees during March. Midtown...

Sophomore Witten balances straight A’s, perfect tens

Courtesy of Sadie Witten
Sadie Witten is a level 10 gymnast, which is the highest possible level achievable for youth gymnasts.

Following in her moms footsteps, sophomore Sadie Witten tumbles her way around the sport of gymnastics, while balancing high academics.

Witten is a level 10 gymnast, the highest level to achieve, with the Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta. In this past year, she has won the vault title this past year at State as well as 1st place team at Eastern nationals.

“I was really proud of myself [for achieving both] because it proved that I deserved to be at that level, and I was good enough to be competing with the other girls,” Witten said.

Witten has been participating in the sport since she was 3 years old.

“I continue doing gymnastics now because I love being in the gym, as well as the feeling of flipping and I love the people I do it with,” Witten said.

Julie Witten, Witten’s mom, said she felt hesitation when initially putting her in gymnastics due to the level of commitment needed but let her continue due to her natural abilities in the sport.

“I did gymnastics all the way through college, like I went on scholarship to college to do gymnastics,” Julie Witten said. “I had a girl, and she was my first child, so I said ‘I’m going to put her in gymnastics’. I had a whole moment where I was like ‘I don’t know if I should really do this’, so we put in her soccer, we tried the dance ballet stuff, but she was really good at gymnastics.’”

Though gymnastics is a mentally and physically difficult sport, the rewarding aspect keeps Witten motivated.

“The feeling of success, being able to show off in competition what I’ve worked so hard to accomplish, and also the feeling of trying something new for the first time keeps me motivated,” Witten said.

Julia Witten believes Witten’s personality helps with her success in the sport.

“Sadie is a creature of habits,” Julia Witten said. “She loves routine. She is very consistent and routine in everything she does, whether it’s school or sleeping or sports, she likes things done a certain way all the time. Gymnastics is very specific. It’s very routine. You kind of have to be a precise person to do gymnastics.”

Witten said the sport comes with a variety of positives and negatives.

“My favorite part is probably trying new skills and being successful in competition,” Witten said. “The hardest part is injury, fears and mental blocks.”

Sophomore Nadia Jurkovic has known Sadie since elementary school and started practicing and competing with her in the second grade. 

“It is very clear that she is crazy good at gymnastics,” Jurkovic said. “Level 10 is the highest level, and it shows in her gymnastics. With a little practice, she could most definitely go Division 1.”

Outside of gymnastics, Witten enjoys reading or spending time with friends and family, but she believes her schedule requires a balance.

“School takes priority because it’s the most important,” Witten said. “Then gymnastics, because of personal priority and then other activities.”

Jurkovic recognizes Witten’s ability to balance her interests as impressive.

“She is so dedicated to her craft it is unreal,” Jurkovic said. “In school and in the gym, no matter the day, Sadie is there to work.” 

Julie Witten said Witten learned her time management young because she had to in order to keep up.

“She’s always gone straight to the gym after school,” Julie Witten said. “She’s in all these AP classes, she’s in honors classes, she’s got all As and she trains for four hours and she’s home at 10 o’clock at night. She’s just really efficient, she manages her time well.”

Julie Witten said Sadie has inspiring sportsmanship.

“Sadie is very happy for the girls standing next to her,” Julia Witten said. “So if she’s competing with another girl that’s on her team and that girl wins first place and Sadie wins second place, Sadie is like the first one to congratulate her. I think most gymnasts tend to want to be the best and Sadie wants to be the best, but she’s always happy for that person that beats her.”

Jurkovic believes Witten’s positivity and dedication is what makes her stand out.

“Something that makes Sadie different from other gymnasts is her devoted love for the sport,” Nadia said. “Even if she’s having a bad day, she works to her full potential to perfect her skills. She doesn’t let a bad day stop her from having fun in the gym.”

Though Witten believes the sport comes with some struggles, the benefits of the sport outweighs the hardships.

“It definitely takes a certain type of person to do gymnastics,” Witten said. “But, I think it truly builds character and helps with many aspects of life, including time management and confidence. All in all, I would definitely recommend it.”

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About the Contributor
Julia Barton
Julia Barton, Writer
Julia Barton is a sophomore and this is her first year writing for the Southerner. She enjoys volleyball and hanging out with her friends. She is excited to write for the Southerner this year.

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