Stafford High School rising senior Kyra Trowbridge will forgo her final year of high school to attend the University of Iowa on a full athletic scholarship for gymnastics.
Trowbridge, 17, is a Paragon Gymnastics Level 10 gymnast and is finishing up her high school requirements over the summer and fall so that she can attend the University of Iowa for the 2013 spring semester. More than a dozen Division I schools pursued her, and she went on recruiting visits to Ohio State, Nebraska and Boise State. She is a four-time Junior Olympic National Qualifier and has traveled as far as England and Switzerland to represent USA Gymnastics in competitions and training camps.
"We decided that Iowa was the best fit for me," Trowbridge said in an interview this week. "I am from the West Coast and the people there are so genuine and nice. Even though it is really flat it is just beautiful landscape. That is what I am used to and something I would like to go back to."
According to her biography, in 2006 she placed 17th in the all-around at the Level 9 Eastern National Championships, and she qualified to junior pre-elite and competed at the U.S. Challenge. In 2007, she won the all-around, vault and floor titles at the Level 10 Virginia State Championships. She is training here under coaches Craig Tetreault and Vala Pintchouk.
She qualified for the Junior Olympics in 2009 and she placed second in the all-around, third on floor and fourth on beam at the Junior Olympic Nationals. The following year, she placed first on the balance beam and fourth in the all-around at the Level 10 State Championships.
At the Level 10 Regionals, she placed fourth in the all-around, first on floor and third on beam. She then placed 22nd overall at the 2010 Junior Olympic Nationals, and in 2011 she placed fourth in the all-around and first on vault and floor exercise at the Level 10 Regionals. She also qualified for the Junior Olympic nationals again and placed fifth in the floor exercise, sixth on vault and 13th in the all-around.
This year, she qualified for the Junior Olympic Nationals for the fourth time and finished first on the floor and seventh in the all-around for Level 10 Regionals.
Trowbridge said she didn't see the need of waiting another year for high school when she could finish her senior year work over the summer and fall to make it to the university in time for the sports program to begin.
"It has been long, but it was great," she said about the college-hunting process. "It is something me and my family will remember forever. I have always had the dream of going to college and competing with a college team and contributing to a college team and winning a championship. They (University of Iowa) have great coaches and a great support team there and the girls are great and they are determined. If we all put our heads together and just work hard every single day, it is very possible to win a championship."