Gymnast profile

By Bill Stone

SGS co-publisher


Kelsey Onesto
Fremd senior co-captain

Resume: 2010 state team competitor (vault, balance beam) and individual state qualifier (beam)


What is your earliest gymnastics memory?:
“My earliest gymnastics memory was in sixth grade, when I used to tumble and hang on the playground equipment at recess. So, I started that year in a beginner class at Palatine Gymnastics Club, but after a day they moved me into advanced beginner then advanced intermediate. After a couple months, there weren’t any open spots on the Level 5 team so I switched gyms to USGTC (United States Gymnastics Training Center) in Lake Zurich, where I competed club up until my freshman year.”


What is your greatest gymnastics moment?:

“My greatest gymnastics moment would definitely be from sectionals last year when I got second place with a 9.325 and qualified for state on beam. It was the first time I felt like I had really contributed to the team and had proven myself. When I was a freshman, I never thought I’d ever be a part of Fremd varsity gymnastics, let alone qualify for state.”


Do you have any rituals or superstitions for gymnastics meets or practice?:
“Last year (senior Alyssia VanDuch) got a big stuffed animal bee that we’ve used as a kind of mascot ever since. We bring her to every invite for good luck, but no one can touch her until the meet is over. We’ve also acquired a bee backpack and a bee pillow pet. There are little bees attached to the zippers of our jackets, too.”


What would make this a successful gymnastics season for you?:
“First and foremost, the main goal is the team making it to state. In past years, it has just been expected for us to walk right into the state meet, but this year we have a really hard sectional so we’re going to have to work harder than ever to earn our spot. Without this, none of the other successes would really mean anything, but I would also like to qualify on beam one more time and maybe even make event
finals. The biggest goal, though, is definitely for the team to make it to state and place top three. That would make my year.”


What do you know about gymnastics now that you wish you knew as a freshman?:
“What I wish I knew, I guess, would be that being confident makes all the difference in this sport. A lot of things in gymnastics just seem completely impossible at times, and I know it sounds cliché, but if you really believe in yourself, you can accomplish things you’d never have thought you’d accomplish just a year ago. Also, gymnastics is supposed to be fun. What other sport allows you to flip and fly through the air on a daily basis?”


What are the added challenges of competing for Fremd, which often qualifies for the state meet?:
“Competing for Fremd is an amazing feeling, but it does get hard having so many expectations and precedents to live up to. There’s always that added pressure when trying to keep the tradition of the
success of Fremd gymnastics alive. You don’t want to be the team that breaks an 18-year winning streak at a certain invite or especially the team that doesn’t qualify for state. A lot of people just expect it now so we never want to disappoint. I wouldn’t want to compete for any other team, but there is a lot more pressure to do well being a part of a team known for names like MaryAnne Kelley, Katie Burke and Mary Burke, along with the number of state championships.”


You also compete for Fremd's track team. How do track and gymnastics compare for you?:
“Track and gymnastics are so different. I think gymnastics requires a lot more preparation because it can be dangerous if you don’t have enough, but in both you have to work and train extremely hard to do
well. I get really, really nervous for both but they’re different kinds of nerves so it’s hard to decide which is more nervewracking. Gymnastics is definitely way more frustrating because some days you can just be completely off and there really isn’t anything you can do about it.”


What relatively unknown movie would you recommend?:
“I don’t think it’s necessarily unknown, but ‘Miracle’ is an amazing movie. It’s so inspirational and there are so many great quotes from it. It’s the perfect movie to watch the night before state to get you pumped up and focused.”


What would be a fantasy music concert for you?:
“Muse at Wembley Stadium in London. Muse is from England and they're huge in Europe. They're also known for their concerts at Wembley so I can't even imagine how crazy that would be.”


If you could become fluent in another language, which would you choose?:

“I would choose Italian because I think it sounds so cool and I’m also part Italian. I also really want to travel there someday.”