Leesburg, VA (February 12, 2017) – Please join us in congratulating Heritage’s Leah Trepal as the January 2017 Performance Edge/Viva Loudoun Athlete of the Month!
This unbelievable gymnast finished first place in the All-Around category in the first eight meets she competed in as a sophomore for Heritage, including all four meets in January. She took the top spot at the Conference 21 East Tournament on Feb. 1 held in her home gym, before going on to finish second on vault and fourth on floor at the VHSL 5A North Region meet at Park View on Feb. 8.
She will be moving on to compete at states at Patriot High School in those two events on Feb. 18.
Trepal won her first eight All-Around competitions this year with Heritage. (Photo © Aaron Wyche/Viva Loudoun)
Trepal is a natural athlete who began playing the sport at the youthful age of four. Since those early days, she has been a member of the Apex Gymnastics club in Leesburg where she is currently a Level 9 gymnast and practices about 16 to 20 hours per week. She also has a background in soccer and is a varsity cheerleader for the Pride.
Although she is a sophomore, Trepal is in her first year of gymnastics competition with Heritage.
“I’ve always really loved gymnastics, and I can’t really see myself not doing it. And doing it this year has really motivated me to continue it and do it next year, and I feel like I’m going to pursue it all the way through high school,” Trepal said.
In four meets in January, Trepal cruised to All-Around victories, which combines the balance beam, floor, uneven bars, and vault, at John Champe with a score of 37.325, Park View with a score of 36.55, Loudoun Valley with a score of 37.275, and a home meet at Heritage with a score of 37.375.
Despite all of her success in January, she admits to feeling extra nerves during the Conference Tournament held in her home gym on Feb. 1, which she won with the best All-Around score of her career, a 37.575. She scored an astounding 9.8 on vault, 9.7 on floor, 9.3 on the balance beam, and an 8.775 on the uneven bars.
Leah Trepal poses during her beam routine in at the Conference 21 Championships. (Photo © Aaron Wyche/Viva Loudoun)
“I felt a lot of pressure going into that meet because all my friends were there,” Trepal said, “and the people at Riverside and Rock Ridge, I compete against them at Apex as well, and they’re all really good gymnasts. And I felt pressure going into vault because that is one of my strongest events and I know my friends are really good at vault too.”
According to Trepal, her best event is vault, an event in which she has achieved a score as high as 9.9 in her booming career. Admittedly, she has room to improve on the bars as she progresses in her tenure with the Pride and with Apex.
The rising star credits Apex with getting her to the level of success that she is now achieving in gymnastics, but also sees her Heritage coach, Jennifer Aubel, as a key mentor in her life.
“I love Coach Aubel, she has really motivated me and helped me become the gymnast that I am,” Trepal said. “And I think that she has really brought our whole team together and we all bond really well. She has done everything she could have done for me, and she makes me feel really good about myself.”
Similarly, Coach Aubel has high praise for her young gymnast, who has had to adjust her club routines to fit the high school requirements.
“Leah is a very talented athlete with beautiful lines and is very elegant in her movements,” Aubel said. “She’s trained for many years at club and wants to be successful in all areas. She’s a good student and a good example to younger gymnasts of what you can achieve when you work hard.”
In four meets in January, Trepal cruised to All-Around victories. (Photo @ Aaron Wyche, Viva Loudoun)
That exemplary hard work over the course of her life has given Trepal opportunities to travel all over the state of Virginia as well as New York, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, and says the New York trip has been the highlight of her career thus far.
“When I went to the New York meet last year, I really enjoyed being in the city, it was so much fun and entertaining to be there and to experience everything there other than just the meet. And the competition was really awesome too,” Trepal said.
Trepal has hopes to one day compete at the collegiate level, and is eyeing JMU, Penn State, and Virginia Tech as possible schools at this point.
However, she still has much more that she wants to achieve for the Pride as she heads into the state meet later this month as just as a sophomore, and Coach Aubel is excited to watch her develop over the next two years in Leesburg.
“I am looking forward to continue working with her over the next couple of seasons,” Aubel said. “I’m glad she decided to participate in high school gymnastics as it has boosted her confidence in her abilities as an athlete.”
Viva Loudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Josh Apple
Special to Viva Loudoun
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Viva Loudoun has teamed up with Performance Edge to recognize an outstanding Loudoun County student-athlete, and their exceptional achievements for a given month by naming a Viva Loudoun Athlete of the Month throughout the 2016-17 academic school year!
We are extremely proud to have Performance Edge on our team. Dave Mikel, CEO of Performance Edge offers exceptional competitive sports training to exceptional athletes who demand it.
The Performance Edge Mission is to prevent injury, optimize strength and power, and instill confidence and self-discipline.