Mantz first local gymnast to Men's JO National Championships
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Flying through the air with a variety of twists and spins, Drew Mantz is not afraid to show he's not your typical Pulaski middle school student.
"I'm in here almost every day, some days for 4.5 hours," Mantz said.
It's that kind of desire which helped the Hobart native become one of a handful of gymnasts to advance to the Men's Junior National Championships via the Regional 4 qualifier in Des Moines, Iowa.
"This is the very first, national-level gymnast we've had in this area, so it's really amazing, it's been awesome," coach Casey Yttre said. "I don't know if I have the words, it has been great."
Mantz will participate in six different events in Oklahoma City against the best 12-year-old athletes (age bracket) in the country. At this point in his young career, the floor routine has been his competitive strength.
"Been the best at that, I like vault and rings a lot, pommel horse not so much," Mantz said.
"He could be really darn good to be honest with you," Yttre said.
The Air Force Gymnastics Academy product is looking to score big in his first jump to the biggest stage, an invaluable experience for an athlete with Olympic dreams.
"I'm pretty excited because there's nothing I can really lose there, I'm just trying to do my best," Mantz said.
Another big moment to chalk up in a career that is on the up-and-up.
"It's really exciting and cool how the people I competed against all worked hard and get to show it off there," Mantz said.