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GYMNAST OF THE YEAR: Sienna Schreiber, West Forsyth
One tweak made all the difference for Wolverines' state champion
West Forsyth sophomore Sienna Schreiber holds a picture from her first-ever gymnastics competition. “I just remember she was so nervous out there for the first time,” Sienna’s mom, Jill, said, “and you can’t talk to your parents when you get out on the floor. but she got out there and did amazing.” - photo by Micah Green

Sienna Schreiber knew something was missing from her floor routine after the state preliminary meet. The West Forsyth sophomore gymnast had had an otherwise standout performance that day, placing first in uneven bars with a perfect 10.00, tying for first in vault and placing third in balance beam. But her floor routine felt incomplete, and her 8.95 score in the event confirmed it.

Schreiber consulted her club coach, who recommended adding a roundoff back handspring for one of her passes. The sequence would add two acrobatic skills, thus boosting her potential score. The first time Schreiber tried her new, augmented routine, she knew it had potential.

Armed with the new routine, Schreiber shined at the GHSA Gymnastics State Meet, winning the all-around title and helping West win the state championship, the first ever in a team sport for the school.

And Schreiber’s score in the floor?

A perfect 10.

“That little thing changed my score drastically,” Schreiber said.

Schreiber has made drastic improvements the past few years, gains that resulted in a high school season for which she is the 2017 Forsyth County News’ Gymnast of the Year.

A year ago, Schreiber had a fine performance at the state meet. She won individual titles in the balance beam and vault and finished fourth in the all-around. West placed fifth in the team standings. But Schreiber didn’t place in uneven bars or floor.

But Schreiber has made a habit of identifying her weaknesses and finding a remedy.

Take for example the uneven bars. Two years ago, Schreiber would have considered it her worst event. Schreiber changed her competitive gym to one that put more focus on uneven bars, and she quickly gained confidence in putting her skills in to high school meets.

So fast-forward to this past state preliminary meet, when Schreiber scored a perfect 10 in the event.

“I never thought I would get a 10 on bars,” Schreiber said. “When I stuck the dismount, I knew it was going to be a good score, but I didn’t think it was going to be perfect. It was exciting.”

Schreiber has already identified the next weakness to fix: her mental approach.

For all of Schreiber’s accomplishments – a successful club résumé, high school state titles in individual events, a high school all-around title, a verbal commitment to the University of Missouri – she says she still struggles with believing in herself in those moments leading up to a performance.

“I doubt myself a lot,” Schreiber said. “I’ll try not to doubt myself, because I know I can do it, but I don’t tell myself I can do it. I’ll try to improve on that part.”