Hannah Scheible has been set on competing for coach K.J. Kindler and the University of Oklahoma since she was 11 years old, and last Wednesday, that dream officially became a reality.
“When I was about 11 years old, I remember watching [Oklahoma] win a national championship, and it was then that I realized I wanted to go to that school because they could win,” Scheible said. “I’m a pretty competitive person and so the goals I have for college basically are to win national championships, so once I saw that, I was like, ‘OK, I guess that’s where I have to go to school if I want to win national championships.’”
Scheible is a Level 10 gymnast who trains out of All American Flames Gymnastix in Port Huron where she celebrated her official signing with the Sooners last week. She’s one of four recruits to join the nation’s leading gymnastics program as Oklahoma boasts five national championships in the last eight years.
“It was amazing [to make the official commitment],” Scheible said. “It was everything I’ve worked for since I was a little girl and it’s amazing to know that hard work does pay off and the struggles and challenges are worth it in the end.”
Her soon-to-be coach Kindler said in a press release that she’s confident in Scheible’s ability to achieve her goals of adding to Oklahoma’s trophy case.
"I love [Hannah’s] tenacity and strength. Her confidence is illuminating, and I believe it makes all those around her walk a little taller,” Kindler said. “To know Hannah is to know she reaches for the big goal without a worry about falling short. She is humbly mindful of the areas in which she wants to improve to achieve those goals. She raises the expectation in the room, wherever she goes."
And Scheible has an impressive resume of her own to support such a statement.
On top of state and regional titles, in 2021, she finished first all around with a score of 38.800 at the Women’s Development Program National Championships. The following year, Scheible finished second overall at the national competition with a score of 38.575. She then qualified for the prestigious 2022 Nastia Liukin Cup in Frisco, Texas, where she finished 10th overall.
Scheible said that after winning her first national title in May, she was bombarded by college coaches and throughout that summer, dozens were coming into town to watch her practice. But it wasn’t until August that Kindler finally paid a visit.
“As soon as she won nationals we had probably 15 colleges all reaching out within a matter of a half hour. It was crazy,” her coach and mom Mel Scheible said. “At that time Oklahoma hadn’t reached out yet, so we didn't know if that was going to be an option. Then I had gotten an email from K.J. saying, 'We want to visit.' But at that time we had 25 to 30 coaches already coming to watch practice that summer, so she wouldn’t come in until August because she wanted to be the only one there.”
And while winning a national title may have opened the doors to achieving her lifelong goal of becoming a Sooner, Hannah Scheible said she’s most proud of competing at the Nastia Liukin Cup.
“I would say last year qualifying for the Nastia Liukin Cup was my biggest accomplishment so far because it’s a such a high-level meet,” Hannah Scheible said. “It’s higher than nationals basically because you have to be one of the top 30 in the entire nation to go, so I’d say that’s probably my biggest accomplishment so far. I’m trying to go again this year.”
Mel Scheible and her husband Joe own All American Flames Gymnastix where the two have coached hundreds of athletes, including Hannah. They were building the gym around the time Hannah and her twin brother Zac were born, leading them both to live a life in the gym. But if you ask Hannah, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“While my parents were building our gym, I was three months old, sleeping in a car seat in the building while they were doing construction, so I was basically born into gymnastics,” she said. “For me it’s fun. Honestly, I don’t think it’s work at all. I enjoy it and it’s the highlight of my day. I get away from school and get to have fun with my teammates. I really love it.”
“Coaching Hannah has been so easy because she loves it and she saw the success right away,” Mel Scheible said. “She understood what it took to get to this level and she was always willing to do the extra stuff like ice baths and getting up and doing an extra workout or lifting that most people aren’t willing to do. She’s more than willing to chase that dream.”
This year Hannah will continue training and competing with Flames before leaving for Oklahoma in June where she'll begin her collegiate gymnastics career. She plans to pursue a Master's degree dietetics to become a registered dietician.
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