Athlete of the week: Jena Swanson

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Jena Swanson is a sophomore at Spearfish H.S. who is off to Cincinnati, Ohio to compete in the Olympic National Championships

Jena Swanson says,'It's really important because I didn't get to qualify last year. So it's a really cool experience this is the first year I'm going so it will be really exciting.'

Swanson made the trip last year but as an alternate where she saw a familiar face compete.

Chris Summers says, ' You know it was really pretty exciting she was an alternate last year so she had to sit in the stands and watch her sister compete. Which is always a little more difficult, so it was really nice to see her hit her routines and improve enough this year and be the one who is out competing on the floor.'

That improvement for Swanson came from the daily work she put in

Swanson says, ' Just getting stuff consistent in the gym is number one. The more I get consistent here the better I feel at the meets and better prepared I am.'

the number one event the young gymnast enjoys.

Swanson says'vault'

but why?

Swanson says, ' I'm not really sure. It is one of my better events which is probably why i think it is my favorite.'

Summers says, 'I think she likes vault because it is easy for her to score well. It takes about 15 seconds. She has a lot of speed and quick twitch fibers. So I think it makes it easier for her.'

Despite Swanson being able to score well in the vault, that doesn't make it her coach's favorite event.

Summers says, ' my favorite event for her, I would say floor because it's more of a personality thing it allows you to see who the child really is.'

regardless of the event seeing the excitement on Jenna is all that matters when she scores well.

Summers says, ' That's the best part of the whole thing, it really is. The kids work so hard and they tend to be hard on themselves so if they aren't perfect they tend to not come off with the best attitude. So when they come off and they know they really hit that routine its just pure joy.'

that joy is spread locally as well.

Swanson says, ' it is a really nice family atmosphere here. All the gymnasts are really nice, they support me and I support them.'

Summers says, ' It is really good for the little class kids too. Everyone looks up to here and says oh wow did you see what she did today. It is a lot of fun, they are positive role models for the younger kids coming up.

Now leaving her local gym for the national stage the excitement can be summed up in a few short words

Swanson says , ' really really excited.'

For Black Hills Fox Sports, I'm Jeff Voss