Gettysburg junior Hannah Baddick is committed to Division I New Hampshire for gymnastics, but also competes for Gettysburg's track and field team. She discusses what she likes about track and how she balances both sports. Matt Allibone
Hannah Baddick always wanted to be part of a team.
Growing up, the Gettysburg junior was so engrossed in gymnastics that team sports quickly fell by the wayside. While her talent on the mat earned her numerous scholarship offers and a verbal commitment to Division I New Hampshire as a sophomore, she always wanted to try something else.
So last spring, the level 10 gymnast took a chance and joined the Warriors track and field team. She quickly proved herself to be a natural, winning the YAIAA title in the triple jump and qualifying for the state championships in the event. Her best mark was 36 feet, 9 inches, not far off the school record of 37 feet, 6 inches.
Now as a junior, Baddick is trying to improve in her second season of track while remaining committed to gymnastics.
It's been anything but easy.
"Right now it's pretty tough," Baddick said. "I really don't know (how I balance it). I still have to do really well for gymnastics ... but then I'm here at track. It's fun to do both but it's hard to balance."
Last season, Baddick had a break from gymnastics when she picked up track, as she was recovering from a concussion. Now however, she's training for next Thursday's regional championships in Maryland, where the top seven in each age group qualify for nationals. That has made her schedule quite complicated.
Every weekday but Wednesday, Baddick leaves school slightly early to drive 45 minutes to Frederick Gymnastics Club in Frederick, Md. She trains there for four and a half hours each day before returning home to do schoolwork. On Wednesdays she has track practice, and on Saturdays she trains for both sports.
She's also an AP student at Gettysburg. While it's been difficult to handle it all, Baddick doesn't regret participating in both sports.
"Making the decision to try something else was a very difficult decision," Baddick said. "I just like that (track) is not subjective. What you run is what you run when the timer stops or what you jump is what you measure. It's not scary, and gymnastics is pretty scary. I like being with my team, and it's just a lot of fun."
In addition to the triple jump, Baddick competes in the long jump, 100-meter dash and occasionally the 400 meter relay. She credits her gymnastics background and former teammate Ravaughn Dillard — a two-time boys' state champion triple jumper — with helping her transition to the sport so quickly last season.
This season, however, things have been different for her. Instead of being able to take people by surprise like she did last season, Baddick now enters meets and invitationals with a target on her back.
She's doing her best to enjoy the season and ignore the pressure, something she said her teammates help her with.
"It’s different this year coming in not being the underdog," Baddick said. "People know who I am this year. People wanted to take pictures with me (at last Saturday's Tim Cook Invitational), they were like taking pictures and videos of me. But it's actually been the coolest thing ever, and it's just fun because your teammates always have your back."
Added fellow Gettysburg junior Shannon Jenkins: "Everyone saw that she's been a gymnast for a while, and we knew track would be perfect. She has the strength, the endurance, the ability for anything. She's had a tough time (balancing gymnastics and track) but she definitely manages her time well. I think she's (the rest of the team's) motivation."
While Baddick has been getting some attention from Division I track programs, she said she remains firmly committed to New Hampshire. Still, she's determined to reach the state championship for the second straight year.
"I think this year I can do it if I have the right coaching and mindset," Baddick said.