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Student-Athlete of the Week: Mia Curry

Series: Student-Athlete of the Week | Story 17

November 13, 2019 | View PDF

Jocelyn Rowley

Sophomore Mia Curry claimed the Class 4A state all-around title at the gymnastics championships on Nov. 8.

It may have lacked the life-and-death drama of Captain Ahab's pursuit of Moby Dick across the ocean, but Mia Curry's quest to add a Tsukahara vault to her routine and qualify for the state all-around competition may have been as single-minded. Luckily, the affable 10th-grader also escaped Ahab's watery fate, and instead earned a trip to the top of the Class 4A gymnastics podium.

"Last year, I only did three events at state, and I wanted to come out here doing all-around, but I didn't want to do a 'safe' all-around, I wanted to add new skills and work my hardest," the sophomore said after competing at this year's gymnastics championships on Nov. 8, where she claimed the state all-around title. "So this year I added a 'tsuk' to my vault and worked so hard on it, which was a good thing for me. It raised my score a lot, and I was really happy with that."

Tsukahara vault consists of a half turn off the springboard onto the vault table, then a push backwards, and is a must-have for any top high-school competitor. According to Niwot head coach Marisa Purcell, Curry's mastery of the move was the key to her surprise win at state.

"It's a tremendous individual accomplishment for her," the coach said. Curry earned the highest overall all score in the floor exercise (9.475), second in uneven bars (9.2), third in balance beam (9.175), and fifth in vault (9.15), for a final score of 37.000. "She did not have a 'tsuk" at the beginning of the year, so she and I really worked on standing that up. I knew she would need that to have a chance."

Curry also added new skills to her routine in the uneven bars, which she considers her favorite event. That also raised her score, and helped her team stay competitive in a rotation that isn't their strongest. But it wasn't just hard work and new skills that got her the top score at this year's state meet. On the balance beam in particular, the 10th-grader reported that she felt more "mentally confident" during her routine than last year.

"I think I've figured out high school gymnastics a little more, so I knew what the judges were looking for and what my coaches thought would be better. I tried those things, and they ended up working really well."

Curry started gymnastics at "age three or four" at Longmont's Airborne gym and soon wound up on the Junior Olympic circuit. She switched to the high school field after realizing that 20 hours per week of j.o. training "was taking a toll on my body." During her freshman year, Curry was the youngest member of Niwot's powerhouse state team, which claimed the sixth state gymnastics title in school history. With much of that team gone, however, the sophomore found herself in a decidedly different role in 2019.

"A majority of our team was freshman, and we got some really good gymnasts this season, but we obviously didn't have as much experience as last year... I had more of a leadership role, but there were some girls on the team longer than me. But if there was something I knew and something I could add on to, then I would try to do my best."

Jocelyn Rowley

Mia Curry successfully landed a Tsukahara Vault at the Class 4A state gymnastics championships on Nov. 8, helping her capture the all-around title.

Curry likely picked up some of those leadership skills as a member of the Silver Creek Leadership Academy, a four-year academic program that emphasizes interpersonal and communications skills and incorporates community service.

"This class sets us up for the future," she said. "The first year is to learn your presentation skills, and as you go through, you learn more skills about working with other people."

During their senior year, SCLA students initiate manage a year-long "capstone" project that benefits the community. Curry, an art lover, hopes to open an art gallery, with proceeds going towards schools with underfunded arts programs.

Curry also plays the trumpet in Silver Creek's symphonic band, and loves to read in her limited free time. Though it's still a few years off, she hopes to eventually attend medical school and become a pediatric anesthesiologist or pediatric orthopedist.


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