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Gymnast Profiles: Peyton Ernst - America's Newest Sweetheart

First year senior Peyton Ernst has come from unknown junior to a standout on the senior national team and a contender for a spot on the World Championships team for the USA.

The sixteen-year-old hails from the state of Texas where she trains with 1991 World All Around Champion, Kim Zmeskal-Burdette and her husband Chris at Texas Dreams. Peyton is one cool competitor in the arena. At the Secret Classic in July, Peyton took the second place title behind Fierce Five member, Kyla Ross. She finished fourth in the all-around at her first senior national championships back in August.

In her first year as a senior, Peyton has already experienced success internationally. She competed at the Tokyo Cup in April and won silver in the all-around. In the event finals, she took first on the floor exercise and vault. She competed at the City of Jesolo Cup winning the team title and taking fourth place in the all around.

Peyton's best event is definitely the balance beam. She mounts the beam with a press handstand that
looks very much like her coach's famous beam mount. She's made no secret that it's her favorite event (which probably pleases Women's Team Coordinator, Marta Karolyi to the nth degree, since she loves beam workers).

“I've always liked beam,” she told Gymnastike at the Secret Classic. “It doesn't make me as nervous as the other girls.”

Peyton's performance this year has earned her an invite to the worlds' selection camp, going on this weekend. With her strong finish at the P&G Championships, Peyton is a strong contender for the worlds' team.

I also published this article on Gymnastike.

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