Plum gymnast Sarah Kvortek ups degree of difficulty in quest for more success

Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Sarah Kvortek smiles when she thinks back to last year’s PA Classic state title in the all-around at Moon High School.

“It was just a really great moment, almost surreal for me because I never thought I would be a state all-around champion,” said Kvortek, a Plum senior whose 2021-22 season also included a WPIAL individual title on vault.

“I didn’t win many all-arounds in my club meets. I told my parents that it would be great to win an all-around trophy. I worked hard in the gym, added things to my routines to up my difficulty, and it was an amazing feeling to get (all-around title) at states.”

Coming back for another season, however, Kvortek admitted there were thoughts of whether or not she wanted to continue to compete in club or for high school.

“I felt I had accomplished way more than I ever wanted to,” said Kvortek, a USA Gymnastics Level 9 competitor who continues to train at Ultimate Gymnastics in Delmont.

“I also felt pretty burnt out. My coach convinced me to stay my senior year, and at first, it was really rough. I was struggling mentally and physically. But those feelings have subsided, and I am glad I continued with it because I am getting a lot of nice accolades at meets and stuff like that. I have a renewed feeling for practices and competitions. I wanted to make sure that if I was going to do it, I really wanted to give my all. My goals have definitely changed from the beginning of the season to right now.”

Because of her accomplishments at the WPIAL and state meets last year — she claimed her second WPIAL title in as many seasons and added silver on uneven bars, sixth on floor exercise and seventh on beam for second place (36.100) in the Intermediate I (Gold) all-around — Kvortek will move up to the highest division (Diamond) for WPIALs on Feb. 11 at Moon High School.

If an individual gymnast scores a 36 or higher in the all-around or wins the all-around title at either WPIALs or the PA Classic and competes at Level 9 or higher for club, she is required to move up one level.

“I have been really working hard on floor and beam,” said Kvortek who expects to again compete in all four disciplines at WPIALs.

“I would really like to place or medal in the Diamond division at WPIALs. I know it will be really tough competition. There are girls who will be competing who are seasoned Level 9s and 10s. I am a Level 9 this year. It is kind of new for me. I am really working on trying to up my difficulty for not only club, but for high school.”

Kvortek said January has been pretty busy for her in terms of her club and high school practice and meet schedule.

“It’s been quite the whirlwind,” said Kvortek, who was scheduled to compete for Ultimate Gymnastics this past weekend at the 11th annual Center Elite Women’s Classic in State College.

After the Center Elite Classic, Kvortek doesn’t compete in any other USA Gymnastics club meets until WPIALs.

“I will be able to focus on everything I need for WPIALs and get my routines in order,” Kvortek said.

Kvortek said she is not going to compete at states this year as she will head to the Jekyll Island Gymnastic Invitational in Georgia on Feb. 18.

“Every year, my club coach lets the seniors pick a meet they want to go to,” Kvortek said.

“We can go pretty much anywhere. We picked Jekyll Island, and it’s really nice with a banquet for the seniors after the meet. It’s right on the ocean. It will be a good time.”

She will compete at Jekyll Island Invitational with fellow Ultimate Gymnastics seniors Emma King from Kiski Area and Sophia Ruggeri from Burrell.

“I have more in me to give, and I know my potential,” said Kvortek, who will attend Slippery Rock and major in exercise science and physical therapy.

“There were skills for me to do that I hadn’t done last year. Level 9 is difficult and challenging, but it’s been one of my big goals to do well there. I am happy that I am able to do that.”

Kvortek hopes to spend the spring months outdoors as she plans to join the Plum track and field team.

“I was going to try to do it last year, but I ended up backing out of it the very last minute because of preparation for club states and regionals, and I really wanted to be in the gym to prepare for that,” she said.

“The track coaches said that they would’ve worked with me, so I am going to give track a try this year. I really want to do the high jump and the long jump.”

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at


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