Shayla Snow and Jaden Haley both started gymnastics at age three. Through the years both girls showed great talent, advancing one level at a time.
Haley’s family moved to Lithia and her love of gymnastics followed; she trained at several different gyms perfecting her skills. She eventually found her home at Lakewood Ranch Gymnastics.
Snow continued her own personal journey training to become a standout at her local gym, Tampa Bay Turners. It was only after many years, thousands of hours of practice and extreme hard work that the girls found themselves competing against each other.
The two athletes always had a strong mutual respect for one another. Side by side on the podium, often placing first and second, they could be seen rooting for the other no matter who took the title. Their friendship developed stronger as they were Region 8 teammates representing the southern states at the national championships, which include the top six gymnasts from each region that compete at the national level.
Between both young women, they have traveled to 12 different states for competition as well as Costa Rica. These two athletes hold a combined 11 state titles, 8 regional titles and 4 national titles.
There are only are a limited number of spaces available in college for gymnastics. Most young women that enter the top 20 division 1 programs in the country have spent four to five years at level 10 or were considered on the elite track training for the US national team.
Both girls had many division 2-3 college options as well as a few preferred walk-ins at division 1 schools.
Another friend of Haley committed to Baylor University for acrobatics and tumbling. After much consideration, Haley determined that her years of training in the sport of gymnastics would transfer to this new and exciting opportunity to compete. After many college visits, she made the decision to sign at Division 1 Presbyterian College in South Carolina.
Snow was not familiar with the sport of acrobatics and tumble, and was also very intrigued by what it had to offer. Haley reached out to her college coach right away. A few weeks later, Snow attended a recruiting weekend and also fell in love with the campus, athletics program, coach and entire acrobatics team. A scholarship was immediately extended to Snow, who accepted.
Both girls are excited to be a part of an upcoming and vastly growing college sport, and they are even more excited to share together in the experience of competing all over the country, becoming teammates college roommates.
Acrobatics and Tumbling is currently offered at approximately 25 universities with more added each year as the sport continues to grow.