Taylor Burkhart, 16, wakes up at 5:30 a.m. each week day. He travels from his home in Morrison to 5280 Gymnastics in Wheat Ridge for his morning workout. He practices from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. before he …
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Taylor Burkhart, 16, wakes up at 5:30 a.m. each week day.
He travels from his home in Morrison to 5280 Gymnastics in Wheat Ridge for his morning workout. He practices from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. before he loads the bus to be taken to school at Two Roads Charter School in Arvada.
He goes to school from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when he gets back on the bus to return to the gym for another three hours of practice.
On a normal day he is back home by 6 p.m., does homework, eats dinner with his family and is in bed by 10 p.m.
Burkhart is one of 30 gymnasts from 5280 Gymnastics who are on this schedule.
The partnership with Two Roads Charter ensures that these high-level gymnasts are getting their core academics as well as ample times at practice.
“I feel like this is the best situation I could possibly be in,” said Burkhart, who recently won gold on high bar at the 2018 Junior U.S. Gymnastics Championship and made the boys junior national team for the second year in a row. “(The program) really helps me get more work done and more efficient with the amount of time I have.”
Burkhart, who dreams of attending college on a gymnastics scholarship and competing in the 2024 Olympic games, was one of the first students to take part in the program at Two Roads when it started three years ago.
Now, in its fourth year, Principal Wendy Noel says the program has been successful. One of its students graduating last year with a full-ride scholarship.
“This program affords them the ability to get the academics they need and they still get to compete on a high level,” Noel said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
In the early 2000s Noel was a school teacher at a gymnastics program called Gymnastika, where she taught gymnasts at the gym they worked out at. After the academic program at that gym was disbanded, Noel began at Two Roads Charter. But the idea for an academic program that was tailored to the need of high-level gymnasts was still in the back of her mind.
That’s when she reconnected with Beth Trammel and 5280 gymnastics to create the program at Two Roads. The program currently serves 21 elementary school students and nine middle and high school students.
“It’s good for me because my parents used to drive two hours to get to my gym and then two hours back,” said Cambry Haynes, fourth grader. “I just really want to work hard and try to go to the Olympics in 2024”
Haynes, who lives in Evergreen, said she wants to go as far as she can with gymnastics and pursue a career in science.
The program at Two Roads and the coaches at 5280, she said, is helping her achieve those goals.
Noel said that as the program grows she’d like to open it up to gymnasts at other gyms as well as other high level athletes.
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