The Award-Winning Wertz
Penn State Club Gymnastics is a very tight-knit group of students with a drive that comes from the pure love of the sport. The club has had the opportunity to travel for competitions, including to James Madison University and Fort Worth, Texas this year for Nationals. Leading the team, is senior entrepreneurship major, Alex Wertz. Gymnastics has been a part of Wertz's life since his childhood, and says he is thrilled to be able to help his peers that share his passion for the sport.
Wertz says that he became involved with gymnastics around the start of his "rebel" years of about 13 or 14. He credits gymnastics for keeping him grounded and having a place to keep coming back to. He also says it taught him to respect his elders, as his coach became a father figure to him throughout his years of training.
During his pre-college gymnastics career he traveled to state competitions countless times, as well as regionals, sectionals, and even placed in nationals four times prior to graduating from high school. His senior year of high school, he placed fourth in the nation at Olympic Junior Nationals on the pommel horse event. In regionals, he beat out Colin Coates, who is currently on Penn State's varsity gymnastics team.
Wertz says that the big payout of gymnastics is typically a scholarship unless an athlete is good enough to compete at Olympic level, which very few are. Although an injury diminished Wertz's chances of receiving a scholarship or competing at varsity level, he considers the big payout for him to be all of the friends that he has made and the discipline that the sport has given him.
He has centered his college career around club gymnastics and says he is thrilled to have found such a hard-working and caring group of individuals. Wertz says that he feels a huge amount of respect from club gymnastics members given his role as president, but he doesn't consider the position to be a chore, to him it is much more of an honor.
Video: The Last Day on Bars
Wertz says he never had shoulder surgery because of the long recovery period -- about 6-9 months. Now that he will be graduating from Penn State and ending his club gymnastics career, he may consider doing something about the injury.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Erin is currently a member of the SOC 119 Stream Team at Penn State, and takes part in updating social media and editing videos weekly for the class. Erin’s favorite aspect of her major is getting to learn about people and share their stories. She hopes to embark on a career in public relations after graduation.