Hannnah Van Meter is a senior captain of the Lake Highlands gymnastics team, which competes at regionals today and tomorrow (March 30-31) at Highland Park High School. Van Meter placed second in the all-around at the district meet and won the vault. Van Meter is also a member of the Wildcat Wranglers country western dance and stunt group.

Q: What is the best part of being a captain of the gymnastics team?

A: I get to lead a team of girls that are amazing at what they do. This year I got to actually work out with a big team of RISD gymnasts at a school called MST, which is an elementary school that is convenient for all four schools to go workout at. I feel like I not only lead the Lake Highlands gymnastics team, but I am also a leader to the Richardson, Berkner and Pearce teams as well.

Q: What is your favorite move to do in a gymnastics meet?

A: It would have to be the double back I do for a dismount off the uneven bars. I’m not saying bars is my favorite event, but this skill is very hard to achieve without lots of practice put into it. Words cannot describe the feeling I have when I land this move in practice.

Q: Does your gymnastics background help you in Wranglers?

A: I feel like I had an advantage in Wranglers since I already know how to flip myself. I’m glad that I practice dancing and smiling in Wranglers every morning, because that also reminds me that while I perform in gymnastics the judges do like to see a smile from the gymnasts. One judge told me that smiling on the beam would make my routine much better.

Q: Do you get more nervous performing as a Wrangler or a gymnast?

A: I honestly get more nervous as a gymnast at pep rallies because there are fewer people performing and the spotlight is usually put on the seniors more with gymnastics. I do like to get the crowd pumped with tumbling and having fun with flipping in front of the entire school. Wranglers is more of a team effort with my partner because we have to trust each other and it’s not an individual effort. Reid [Watler, Van Meter’s partner] and I work very well together though, because he understands I’m comfortable with flipping high in the air.

Q: What is the best song on your iPod right now?

A: It would have to be "Stay or Leave" by Dave Matthews Band.

Q: What is your favorite television show?

A: It would have to be The Bachelor which just ended. Although I didn’t like the result of who Jake picked, I am still a big fan of the show because our entire family used to watch it together every Monday night.