Plum’s Kvortek ready to score high at WPIAL gymnastics championships

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Saturday, January 29, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Sarah Kvortek realized the fulfillment of a goal last season as she stood at the top of the podium at the WPIAL individual gymnastics championships at Moon High School.

The Plum junior celebrated her second varsity season with a gold medal on bars in the Intermediate I (Gold) division.

With four successful meets under her belt and the required qualification scores in all four events — uneven bars, vault, beam and floor exercise — Kvortek is looking for more at WPIALs this year.

“Last season was so great, and it definitely was a big motivator for me to do better this season,” Kvortek said.

“I have even bigger goals for this year. Hopefully, I can bring home two or three WPIAL medals.”

The WPIAL individual meet will be Feb. 12, and it returns to Moon High School. Kvortek said she is happy to be back in the same gym as last February’s triumph.

“Right now, I am feeling really good,” Kvortek said.

“I’ve had some really good last couple of practices, especially on floor with working on some difficult (tumbling) passes. I just feel everything is coming together. I am ready to compete at WPIALs.”

As an independent gymnast, Kvortek will be Plum’s sole representative at WPIALs. Only one gymnast from non-team WPIAL schools is permitted to enter the competition.

Kvortek’s championship on bars last year came after she took fifth in the event at WPIALs as a freshman.

Her score of 8.700 topped the field, including Central Valley’s Megan Grimm, the all-around champion.

In addition to her bars title, Kvortek was 17th on beam, 25th on vault and 27th on floor for an all-around 11th-place finish.

“I really wanted to do stronger and more challenging routines in all four events this year, and hopefully the improvements that I made can help me get a medal in the all-around,” Kvortek said. “That is a big goal for me this year.”

Kvortek trains throughout the year at Ultimate Gymnastics in Delmont under the watchful eye of coach Renee Ruggeri, who also coaches the high school team from Burrell and other independent high school gymnasts from schools such as Valley, Kiski Area and Penn-Trafford.

“My goals between now and WPIALs is to stay healthy,” Kvortek said.

“I also want to just polish my routines and make sure I keep doing everything repetitively, almost like it’s on autopilot. I feel confident that everything is coming together.”

In addition to WPIALs, Kvortek also has her eyes set on competing at the PA Classic high school state meet Feb. 18 and 19 at Moon High School.

“The only qualification I am missing is you have to have five different meet scores,” Kvortek said.

“Right now I have four, but when I go to WPIALs, that will count for the fifth score. The qualification (requirements) in terms of scores is the same as WPIALs, so I am good to go with that.”

Kvortek didn’t compete at last year’s PA Classic, instead opting to train in all four events for the Diamond XCEL club state championships in the spring.

That state meet was a success as she finished first on bars (9.7) and second in the all-around (36.85) in the Diamond division at Penn State.

Kvortek said she wouldn’t be where she is in gymnastics without the support of all the gymnasts she trains with, the coaches who guide her every day, and her family.

She also expressed an affinity for the support from Plum High School, from tweets to news announcements, not only this year but throughout all three years of her competing at the high school level.

“Even though I am an independent gymnast, that support really makes me feel like I am part of a team at Plum,” Kvortek said. “They recognize the hard work I put in. It makes me feel good.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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