Small…Talented…Precise…Daring..these are all words that describe Mckenzie Wofford of Spring, Texas. Born on September 8, 1995 Mckenzie is too young to compete at this summer’s Beijing Olympic Games, but she has her eyes set on London 2012.
Mckenzie started out her career at Capital Gymnastics in Austin, Texas. In December of 2004 Mckenzie competed at the Level 7 All-Star Texas Challenge at Texas Dreams Gymnastics. She was selected as one of six athletes to compete at the 2005 Texas National Judges Cup Team in New Orleans, LA. Mckenze went on to finish the 2005 season as a level eight athlete and placed 3rd all-around and earned a gold medal on beam.
Mckenzie continued to show her talent for gymnastics by qualifying to the 2005 Talent Opportunity Program Team (TOPs) in 2005 as an 10 year old athlete. The TOPs program tests on athletes on various skills, strength, and agility drills and only the best in the nation are selected to the TOPs team. Mckenzie qualified to attend a special camp at the National Team Training Center in Texas.
McKenzie moved up to level nine in the spring of 2006. McKenzie placed 2nd all-around at the 2006 Kurt Thomas Invite and also earned a gold medal on both beam and floor. She qualified to 2006 Region III Championships with a fourth place finish at the Texas State Championships. McKenzie placed 13th in the all-around and 4th on floor at Region III Championships. In the Fall McKenzie also qualified to her 2nd TOPs National Team in the 11 year old division.
McKenzie then moved to Stars Gymnastics where she trained under Dan and Ashly Baker. McKenzie finished 2nd all-around at the American Challenge in the hopes division, where the youngest athletes compete. She went on to qualify to the Junior International Elite level and made the 2007 US Championships. However, an injury in warm-ups for the competition forced McKenzie to withdraw.
In 2008 McKenzie came back strong and was invited to two invitational camps at the National Team Training Center where she placed 3rd and 2nd all-around. McKenzie re-qualifyed to the International Elite level and placed 5th all-around at the 2008 US Classic. She finished 13th all-around at the 2008 US Championships in Boston, MA, just one place shy of making the USA National Team.
McKenzie started off 2009 strong by traveling to Florida for the 2009 Judges Cup where she took first place in the all around. Although already qualified for international elite, she used the Metroplex Challenge as a warm-up for later competitions. She then traveled to San Diego, CA for the 2009 American Classic, a nationals qualifier, where she took the gold medal in the all around and gold on bars. She easily qualified to the 2009 US National Championships. McKenzie traveled to Des Moines, IA for the 2009 US Classic as preparation for nationals. She earned the bronze medal in the all around as well as a bronze on bars and silver on beam. At Nationals McKenzie made a few mistakes, once again just leaving her shy of the national team. At the start of 2010 McKenzie switched to WOGA Gymnastics where she is now coached by Valeri Liukin and Dina Kamalova. McKenzie hopes to continue with elite in the future and make the national team.
McKenzie had a successful year in 2010 which began by qualifying to the 2010 US National Championships in Hartford, CT. In Hartford McKenzie earned 8th place all around out of the Junior International Gymnast and placed 2nd on Uneven Bars. Due to McKenzie's placement she was named to the 2010-2011 Junior National Team. McKenzie later traveled to South Africa for the 2010 Bumbo Cup where she placed 2nd AA and earned gold medal on uneven bars and balance beam. In early 2011 McKenzie switched to her current gym, Zenith Gymnastics, where she is coached by Tatiana Schegolkova and Anatolie Toropov. She is looking forward to her first season as a senior international elite gymnast.