The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Anne MacKenzie flips into Cornell gymnastics commitment

Courtesy Brittany E. Roden
Anne flips across the beam at The Metroplex Challenge meet in February 2024 in Fort Worth, Texas.

From track runners to gymnasts, senior Anne MacKenzie grew up in a family of athletes. Anne, following her three older siblings and her parents, who participated in Division I sports, will continue this legacy. Last fall, she announced her commitment to DI gymnastics at Cornell University in New York. 

“I always knew I wanted to do high-level sports,” Anne said. “Having my siblings all go to college for sports motivated me a lot because I wanted to be like them — and I didn’t want to be the only one out here.”

Senior Anne poses in Cornell University gear after announcing her commitment to Division I gymnastics in fall 2023.

After moving to the United States from New Zealand at a young age, Anne joined Gold Star Gymnastics and made her way up the Junior Olympic gymnastics ranks to level 10, the most difficult level. From this level, most gymnasts are prepared to pursue collegiate gymnastics.

“Anne is one of the hardest working and most determined people I know,” Gold Star coach Courtney Rodgers said. “She always has a goal and quietly pursues what she wants to accomplish.”

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The four events in female gymnastics are vault, beam, bars and floor. For Anne, vaulting is the most difficult due to her various injuries and not having enough practice. Despite training and competing in level 10 skills, it wasn’t until this season that Anne successfully landed her high-level vaults in her meets. To Anne, overcoming the vault is one of her greatest accomplishments as an athlete. 

“It was really exciting for me because it was my first time feeling like I was competing all-around at level 10,” Anne said. 

When Anne began considering recruitment last summer, she also sought a school with strong academics. Cornell also stood out to Anne because her older sister, Laura, is a junior on their gymnastics team; getting recruited there meant another opportunity for them to be teammates again. 

However, getting to this point required about 18 hours weekly, including training techniques, routines, and conditioning. During her competition season, Anne spends her weekends at national-level meets nationwide. According to Anne, it can become difficult to manage both schoolwork and sports, but thanks to the support of her teammates and family, she perseveres through it all. 

“A lot of people believe that gymnastics is an individual sport, but there’s no way I can do the things I do without my teammates,” Anne said. “Because so much of the sport is mental, having those supportive people around you is so important. We’re all mentally and physically going through the same stuff so we can relate to each other.”

Among Anne’s teammates at Gold Star is freshman Tabitha Lee. When she heard Anne committed to Cornell, she knew her friend would succeed with the new team. 

“Anne has always been super supportive of her teammates,” Tabitha said. “She knows how to be a leader and keep a positive mindset. I know she will bring a lot of energy to the Cornell team and make it fun.”

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Janavi Ramde
Janavi Ramde, Staff Writer

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