By Tamas Mondovics

Sportsmom&daughterStrawberry Crest High School IB program graduate Katya Marlowe was recently accepted into a seven-year, physical therapy doctoral program with scholarships to NOVA Southeastern University.

While happy with the direction of her academic future, Marlowe’s confident decision to further her education also brings the 17-year-old rhythmic gymnast to the end of a long-lasting and much-successful competitive athletic career.

As a member of the Tampa Bay Rhythmics gymnastic team, Marlowe has been training under the direction of her mom and head coach Tyana Marlowe, a rhythmic gymnast since 1978, (both individual and group) and an elite coach and international judge.

With the apple never falling too far from the tree, Katya began her rhythmic gymnastics career when she was just 2-years-old, making her way up the scale of talent levels topping out at her current senior, level nine status.

As she talked about her athletic career during a recent interview, Katya put things in perspective in connection with the role that rhythmic gymnastics has played in her life so far, including the fact that for her, the sport is not just something she loves, but what she has chosen as a career, which after a decade and a half of hard work and success is now coming to an end; at least competitively.

“I have been doing this for the past 15 years and, while I have had my ups and downs, I have loved every minute of it,” Katya said. “I am very happy with what I have been able to accomplish. I have never skipped a level and had to work hard to earn each step working my way up to my current status.”

Although rhythmic gymnastics is highly competitive, for Katya every aspect and detail of it came down to performing to the best of her own ability, while proving herself worthy of each accomplishment.

“For me, competing was not about winning or losing, but about improving each routine and to do better at every turn,” she said.

Over the years, to the joy of her family and friends, Katya was growing in the sport one level at the time, becoming a great athlete which her mom, Tyana, did not hesitate to agree with.

“I am very proud of her,” Tyana said. “She has truly grown into a beautiful, dedicated hard- working and wonderful young lady, who had to work hard every step of the way, including dealing with some injuries and a recent medical issue that set her back from a chance to reach her all time goal of becoming a level 10 gymnast; the highest level in the sport.”

It is this life-long goal that Katya is now working hard to reach this summer during the level nine junior Olympics combined with level 10 national qualifier at the Olympic training center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“It would be a great ending to my career,” she said, but added, “No matter what happens this summer I have no regrets.”

If all goes well, Katya will also have a chance to compete for one last time as a level 10 gymnast during the national championships in Kentucky, scheduled for July 17-20.

Katya is a certified junior Olympic judge. She is also a coach, and loves the young gymnasts that train at her mom’s gym located at 6542 Krycul Ave. in Riverview.

For more information about Tampa Bay Rhythmic Gymnastics visit,

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