Area gymnasts strive to be the best possible

By: Jake Young Email
By: Jake Young Email

Wednesday June 26, 2013

Evans, Ga--Every four years, gymnastics gets the chance to take center stage as one of the marquee sports in the Olympics. But while no one's looking those other three years, the stars of tomorrow are working their way up the ladder. And at Haydens Gym in Evans, a trio of young gymnasts is doing just that.

When most people think of gymnasts, they imagine the pretty little Olympians marching around with bows in their hair, but it's what comes before that that makes the gymnast.

"When I was in middle school they'd be like, 'The only thing you need in gymnastics is flexibility,' and I'd be like, oh man. They really don't know about gymnastics." said Anthony McCallum

Dan and Dennis Hayden, they know about gymnastics. The brothers have competed most of their lives, winning multiple titles along the way. Now, they have a trio of teenagers threatening to make their names known.

"Dennis knows everything. It's like you want him to be wrong sometimes, but he's not. I wouldn't have been able to learn half the skills I have without him." said Angelina Giancroce

Angelina Giancroce came to Haydens two years ago, and she finished ninth at junior nationals last month. Now, she's aiming to be a college gymnast, and at this point, no one's doubting it.

On the boys side, there's a pair that's taken things one step farther. Quest Hayden and Anthony McCallum will compete side-by-side at the US Championships in August But they had a little different mindset when qualifying.

"I'm more higher up energy than Anthony is, so I was so excited and pumped up." said Quest Hayden

"I was like, 'Quest, you've got to calm down,' because nobody else was acting like that." added McCallum

This is the first year the two have trained together, and they credit that relationship for pushing them both to their first US Championships appearance.

"We've gotten very close as teammates and also as friends. It's a healthy relationship and a healthy competition." said Hayden

If they're both on top on the final day, don't think one will give in. But a one-two finish? That's fine by them.

All three gymnasts have gone above and beyond to make sure they're successful. They're homeschooled so they can devote 30-40 hours to their sport every week.

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