Student Features

Zoe Schweitzer national champ on uneven bars

Jun 3, 2015

A PA Cyber student from Mars, Pa., is a national champion in uneven bars, taking first place at the P&G Women’s Gymnastics Junior Olympics National Championships on May 15.

Zoe Schweitzer, 14, also was chosen to go to Glasgow, Scotland, in late October as one of eight members of the USA Gymnastics Region 7 team. While there, they will compete and train with gymnasts from Scotland and, best of all, get to see the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in person.

Bill Schweitzer, Zoe’s proud dad, believes his daughter is the first national Junior Olympics gymnastics champion from western Pennsylvania in about 10 years. She is a recognized Level 10 gymnast by the USA Gymnastics Association.

“Zoe…[beat out] 57 other competitors representing over 30 top gym clubs from across the nation,” according to a post on the website of Xquisite Gymnastics (formerly X-Cel Gymnastics) in Cranberry, Pa., where Zoe trains.

"I have watched Zoe grow as a gymnast since she first started the sport at age 4. Even then she showed a determination to do her very best at each practice. As time progressed, it was very evident Zoe would be a great competitor with all the poise, skill and professionalism of a star gymnast. We are extremely proud of her," stated Lindsey Stancil, owner of X-Cel Gymnastics.

Zoe’s dad said she trained hard for nationals last year and was ranked second going into the meet, but several days before competition her hopes were dashed when she suffered a serious injury in practice.

“She has worked herself back from that injury, training 30 to 32 hours a week, and she has gotten herself back into it,” said her father. “If it wasn’t for PA Cyber she wouldn’t be able to do what she has done. PA Cyber allows her to train. She couldn’t do this in traditional school.”

A straight-A student, Zoe takes her laptop with her and is able to log into and attend her classes even while traveling by motor vehicle to the next meet. An eighth grader in PA Cyber, Zoe typically has classes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, going to school in a quiet area provided by  Xquisite Gymnastics for that purpose.

“There are quite a few kids in that program who do the same thing,” Bill Schweitzer said.

Zoe was Pennsylvania and Region 7 all-around champion in Level 9 Junior Olympic competition in 2013, qualifying for Junior Eastern Nationals, where she placed third on uneven bars and fourth on floor exercise.

She was invited to train for the Olympic developmental team in June of that year at the USA Olympic Training Center in Houston.

Up next for Zoe will be a chance to perform at the Regions 6 and 7 NCAA Showcase in New Jersey.

Zoe lives with parents Bill and Michelle Schweitzer in Mars, Pa.

Watch Zoe's winning routine:

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.