Our next feature athlete is Palmer's Payton Murphy. Payton was part of the Junior F Team that took the top spot at the 2017 JO Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana this past May. I first noticed Payton a few years ago as a level 9 athlete, she was a Level 9 State Champion and Eastern National Qualifier. For me Payton has come on very strong in the last year and has really come into her own. She definitely earned her spot in a very tough age group to the National Championships, her handwork and determination has certainly paid off. Not only does she have some great skills on the competition floor but she has an infectious smile and a great personality! She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Payton Murphy is an athlete to watch this season, with 2 more years left in the JO Program I expect big things from this young lady! Let's get to know Payton a little better as she heads into her junior season at Palmer's Gymnastics in Illinois.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I was 5 years old when I
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? It’s a lot of fun to meet new friends and coaches as I travel for competitions and camps.
Favorite Skill to train/compete Double Pikes on floor
Dream Skill? My dream skill would be to compete a Yurchenko 1 ½
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is floor because I can have fun and show my personality.
What college do you plan on attending? I am currently undecided.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? Qualifying and competing for Region 5 at J.O. Nationals.
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? I admire how much energy and patience my coaches and family put in just to let me do what I love.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? The Best “OMG” Moments of each season, or Make Your Move Monday
If you were trapped on a deserted island what 3 things would you take and why? A boat, gas for the boat, and food. I would bring a boat so I could leave the island. I need gas for the boat so it could move. I would bring food because I am always hungry.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? Definitely a monkey so I could swing around a jungle all day long.
Who is your favorite superhero? Batman
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? Not really, I usually just have to put my headphones on and listen to music before meets.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? One time I did a Yurchenko Full straight to my stomach at practice
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? I would do track or try dance.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? Nobody specific, but I greatly respect athletes that can overcome adversity to become successful. I feel like those athletes understand what true hard work and determination is.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? My coach has told me to trust myself and my body. Although that might seem simple and cliché, it meant a lot to me. It made me understand that I don’t have to overthink everything in gymnastics and life.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself… I love to vacation on the lake during the summer
Check out Payton's Gymnastics journey below