Rexrode won states in gymnastics

Tumi Ojo and Grace Spozarski

With three years left in her high school career, freshman Abby Rexrode has already taken home first not just in WPIALs, but also in the highest Diamond division at states.

Because of those accomplishments, Rexrode has been named the 2021-2022 Purbalite Female Athlete of the Year.

Joining the Baldwin gymnastics team this year did not come as much of a change for the freshman, since she has been competing in meets and competitions for her sport since age 3. The WPIAL and state competitions, however, brought nerves – more for WPIALs because that event took place first.

“I was a little nervous for that competition, but it felt like other competitions because I have been in gymnastics for so long and have had many big meets,” Rexrode said.

During gymnastics meets, athletes are scored on four main events: vault, beam, bars, and floor.
It was after her performance on beam that Rexrode knew she had a chance at first place in the Diamond division at states.

“After I scored really well with a good routine on beam, I knew I had a chance. The only event left was floor, and I was pretty confident I would do well,” Rexrode said of her states performance.

It might seem that, having won states as a freshman, there would be no other goals for Rexrode to attain. But she has moved up in the national gymnastics competition levels, which will keep her practicing more hours to develop her skills.

She is amazing at everything, but she does crazy tricks on beam and floor. She always does the tricks amazingly and lands them perfectly”

— Emily Schwab

“I am moving up to level 10 in USA Gymnastics, so that will require me to work hard and get all the skills I need and make them ready to compete,” Rexrode said. “I will be using those new tricks I learn for high school routines as well.”

Rexrode is grateful for a high school team that welcomes all new members with open arms and continues to tighten their relationships as seasons progress and new seasons begin.

“The team was really supportive and welcoming and can calm me down easily,” Rexrode said.

Her dedication to gymnastics does not go unnoticed. Junior Sophia Pittman said Rexrode has a positive and hard-working mindset.

“She’s always really focused, never in a bad mood, and super positive,” Pittman said.

Pittman said she knew of Rexrode’s success before the freshman even joined the high school’s gymnastics team.

“She was a USAG gymnast for years before joining the high school team, so we were excited to have her be an addition to our team,” Pittman said.

Senior Emily Schwab said Rexrode is a diligent teammate.

“She is very determined. She is very hardworking and never fools around. She is overall really great during practices,” Schwab said.

Schwab said she believes Rexrode excels in the floor and beam areas of gymnastics.

“She is amazing at everything, but she does crazy tricks on beam and floor. She always does the tricks amazingly and lands them perfectly,” Schwab said.

Schwab said she was already aware that Rexrode would become great before joining the team.

“I kind of knew her before she joined the high school team. When she came in the summer, she was whipping out these amazing tricks and she was just insane,” Schwab said. “It was surprising because she was a freshman. We knew she would be an amazing addition.”