Shorecrest senior Victoria "Tory" Collins performs a split leap on the beam during practice at Cascade Elite Gymnastics on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 in Everett, Wa. Collins spent 10 years as a club gymnast, and after leaving the club team and temporarily quitting gymnastics, she’s thriving as a member of the Scots. She’s an all-around gymnast, but the beam is her best event. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Shorecrest senior Victoria "Tory" Collins performs a split leap on the beam during practice at Cascade Elite Gymnastics on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 in Everett, Wa. Collins spent 10 years as a club gymnast, and after leaving the club team and temporarily quitting gymnastics, she’s thriving as a member of the Scots. She’s an all-around gymnast, but the beam is her best event. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Q&A with Shorecrest High School gymnast Victoria Collins

The senior strives for balance both in competition and in life

Victoria Collins is thriving for the Shorecrest gymnastics team by finding the balance she needed.

After a long tenure as a club gymnast, Collins, a senior, is enjoying the less-rigorous atmosphere of a high school program. Balance is also key for Collins in her best event — the beam. Collins has competed in the event at the Class 3A state meet in each of the past two seasons.

“She’s an all-around gymnast, but her strong points are the beam and floor,” Scots coach Susan Riley said. “She goes for bigger scores because of (a lack of) fear factor. She’s tall for a gymnast, and graceful. She has a great foundation of skills from years of practice, and she’s super coachable.”

The Herald spoke with Collins recently about her gymnastics background, school interests and more.

How did you get started in gymnastics?

My parents put me into gymnastics classes when I was little, and I kept going from there. I was with Cascade Elite Gymnastics for 10 years, and I quit right before high school. It was a very hard decision because my bond with my teammates was very strong. But I felt I had to step away from it because my love for the sport was going away. I wanted to focus on (other things) when I got to high school.

What went into your decision to join Shorecrest’s team?

(High school gymnastics has) a different mindset. It’s way more laid back. I thought (joining the Scots) would be a great way to keep going with the sport without putting in as much time commitment. It’s fun to be able to do gymnastics while still having time for friends and other activities.

What challenges have you faced in gymnastics?

There’s a fear factor that definitely plays into the sport. It can be super scary to perform a particular skill. One time during a club meet in 2013, I was supposed to do a back layout during a floor routine, and I decided not to do it at the last second and landed on my neck. That was terrifying and formed a mental block in my brain. I’m proud of the fact that I overcame that block.

Are you involved in any other school clubs or activities?

I was on the track and field team freshman year. I did pole vaulting and threw the discus and javelin. I also did diving for three years; the flipping skills transferred well from gymnastics. For the past two years I’ve been on the school’s flag team, and I was also able to participate in the girls flag football game that raises money for prom.

What’s your favorite class right now?

I’m part of advanced leadership. It’s cool to see behind the scenes of all of the school activities. I get to help plan things like spirit weeks and assemblies. When I was younger I was super shy, and I would never have been able to see myself doing the things I am today. Since the start of high school I’ve broken out of my shell and gotten involved in a lot of different things and made more friends.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I’ve been applying to colleges, but I’m not exactly sure where I want to go. I’d like to study something animal-based. I think maybe I’d like to become a veterinarian or marine biologist. Growing up I’ve always had dogs around. When I was little, I rode horses a lot, which got me close to animals and used to working with them and grooming them.

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