Fishers High School sophomore Savannah Strange sees some good and bad points about having her mother Susie Strange as her coach.
Fishers doesn’t have a high school gymnastics program, but Savannah competes as individual representing the school. Her mother serves as her coach.
“I’d say it’s good because she tells me what I’m doing wrong,” Savannah said. “She never did high school (coaching) before, so it’s a learning experience for both of us. But I would definitely say she’s a big help. During the meets, she is coach. On the way to or from the meets, she is kind of Mom. She puts on different hats.”
Susie said coaching her daughter is a work in progress.
“Sometimes I have to remind her I’m the coach,” Susie said.
Savannah is the first gymnast to compete for FHS, which opened in 2006.
“Freshman season was learning and seeing how high school meets work compared to (USA Gymnastics meets),” she said.
Savannah had knee surgery to repair the meniscus in July 2020. So, this season has been about recovery and staying healthy through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m just kind of recovering, not learning a lot of new skills, but getting back everything I had,” she said.
Susie’s previous experience as a coach was several years ago for a competitive club team. She has judged USA Gymnastics club meets for more than 25 years. She competed in club gymnastics while growing up in Marion.
As a freshman, Savannah finished 18th in the All-Around competition in the Noblesville Sectional in February 2020. This year she’ll compete at the sectional Feb. 27.
Savannah competes for DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics in Fishers. She joined DeVeau’s after Geist Sports Academy closed in early 2020.
“We practice at DeVeau’s for our regular routines and do the high school meets on the side,” Susie said.
Savannah said she has made her biggest improvement on the bars.
That shows, as her best finishes have been on bars are fourth at Noblesville Jan. 18 and fifth place at Shelbyville Jan. 11. She placed eight in the all-around at Franklin Central Jan. 27.
“There are lot of new friends that I’ve met through high school gymnastics,” Savannah said. “It’s definitely something I have to think through a lot more because I’m by myself competing instead of on a team.”
Savannah has been participating in gymnastics since she was 2 years old. She also competes in high jump and pole vault for the FHS track and field team.