Local 12-year-old rises to state’s top gymnast at his level

Neighborhood All-Stars

SAN DIEGO — Since taking up competitive gymnastics five years ago, Encanto resident Josiah Haskins has become the top-ranked gymnast in the state at his level and age group.

The 12-year-old has earned a spot on the state and regional teams, and won the Region 1 title in the high bar event.

Haskins spends hours at Champions Gymnastics and Cheer in Santee, perfecting routines for six different events.

“The events I like the best are… all of them,” Haskins said. “Because they all have their own puzzles to figure out. They all have their own skill sets that you have to figure out.”

He has figured them out pretty well.

“It’s been a beautiful thing to watch evolve,” said JJ Ross, one of Josiah’s mentors at the Santee gym. “He started off maybe a little unsure of himself, and then he actually built that confidence, which is what you want to see.

“One thing that benefits him: Let’s say for example, we ask for six rope climbs. He’ll be like, ‘Hey, I did seven, just because.'”

That work ethic has served him well during the stay-at-home order, where he’s turned his home into a gym and kept practicing as best he can.

And it’s a passion that could fuel him to his ultimate goal: “A gold medal at the Olympics in the high bar and the all-around,” Josiah says.

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