At first glance, Stephanie Azahar is like any other fifteen year old. However, before the start of her sophomore year of high school, Azahar already has the title national champion to add to her athletic resume. Azahar’s road to nationals began in early May when she placed first in the Level 5 All-Around state championship which includes floor, vault, bars, and beam disciplines.

With that win, Azahar earned an invitation to nationals at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla.

With a first place finish in vault, second on floor, third on bars and fifth on beam, Azahar was able to earn the level 5 national championship just as she did on the state level one month prior.

“This whole experience has been magical for me. I never thought I would get this far. I want to thank my coaches, my teammates and my family for all their help.”

While many athletes start playing their sport at a young age, Azahar can not remember a time when gymnastics was not present in her life.

“It’s always been there,” she said. “I started tumbling at two and a half and team competing in 2001.”

Azahar trains through Elite School of Dance six hours a week with coaches Seamus Farrelly, Melissa Ross and Courtney Clark.

“Her sister was taking dance there and I use to bring her along and she just loved to watch,” said mother Grace Anne Azahar. “So when she was old enough, they let her start in a class. It just grew from there and she just increased her levels.”

While Azahar is the all-around national champion in her skill level, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still have a favorite discipline.

“My favorite is bars. It’s just fun. You get to swing around. My least favorite event is beam.”

With the four time national champion Georgia Gym Dogs just up the road, its no wonder Azahar is a fan.

“I’ve been to a bunch of Gym Dogs meets,” said Azahar.

Azahar’s season does not begin again until January of next year, but she is already training for next season.

“We usually go to about four or five meets between January and May before state. Different places all around the state have meets and you just choose which ones you want to go to.”

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