Tumbling into college: Scotts Valley to attend Ivy League school for gymnastics
by Mandy Silver
Nov 27, 2013 | 5494 views | 0 0 comments | 271 271 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Tumbling is a way of life for Scotts Valley High School senior Anya Barca-Hall.

After 14 years of hard work honing her skills as a gymnast, she has been accepted into Brown University, where she will compete on the women’s gymnastics team.

Barca-Hall is ecstatic to be apart of the reigning Ivy League Champion team.

“The coaches are really great. I am so excited to have them,” said Barca-Hall. “And the team is really close knit. “

Barca-Hall’s journey with gymnastics started at a birthday party when she was three years old. Her mother then put Barca-Hall and her six older brothers into gymnastics lessons, where her passion for the sport began to grow.

All her brothers eventually gave up the competition in pursuit of other things, but have remained supportive over Barca-Hall’s gymnastic pursuits.

“I’m very close with all my brothers,” said Barca-Hall.

She tried out various gymnastic programs in Santa Cruz before she settled on Pacific West Gymnastics in Union City, where she has been training for the last five years.

Barca-Hall practices with her team and coaches, Maria Triaggio-Rivera and Liviu Mazilu from 4:45 to 9 p.m. every day after school, with the exception of Thursdays. She makes the hour commute to train on Saturdays, too.

Barca-Hall also fits in private lessons when she can, training for 25 hours each week on top of attending Scotts Valley High School each day.

Barca-Hall excels at the floor exercise and it has developed into one of her favorite events.

“Tumbling is one of my strengths,” she said.

Barca-Hall has overcome various difficulties throughout the years, including a slew of injuries and many sacrifices to continue with gymnastics.

During her freshman year she fought through a broken elbow and competed in events where she was able to just use one arm.

Her sophomore year she endured six months out with a shattered foot.

And throughout the years she has missed different social and family events.

“I’ve missed out on simple things like going home after school, or eating family dinners on weekdays,” said Barca-Hall. “But in the end I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a great work ethic.”

That much is clear, as Barca-Hall carries a 4.25 grade point average and is full International Baccalaureate student.

“Gymnastics helps me keep balanced,” said Barca-Hall, “As well as keep my grades up.”

Barca Hall will graduate in June and begin at Brown in the fall. She will train and begin competing for the Bears when the gymnastics season rolls around in January.

- Press-Banner intern sports reporter Mandy Silver is a junior at Scotts Valley High School. Contact her at pbeditor@pressbanner.com

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