Amy Stewart joined the Uzelac Gymnastics program as a 4-year-old and has honed her skills in the sport for 13 years.
The dedication has paid dividends as Stewart, 17, signed a national letter of intent to continue her athletic and academic career at NCAA Division I Towson University.
“I love the campus and I loved coach Vicki’s philosophy for the team and the positive family-like energy that the team has,” Stewart said of Tigers women’s gymnastics coach Vicki May.
Stewart, who resides in Richland Township and is home-schooled, has excelled under the guidance of her coaches Brenda Uzelac and Kristal (Uzelac) Bodenschatz, a former three-time junior national champion and Cambria County Sports Hall of Famer. Coaches Marcus Gaunt, Donald Uzelac and Donnie Uzelac also participated in Friday’s signing event at the Uzelac complex.
“Thank you to all of my coaches for getting me this far. I couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you to my parents for always being so supportive,” said Stewart, the daughter of James and Ellen Stewart.
A Level 10 gymnast, Stewart is the first Uzelac Gymnastics Division I signee.
Kristal (Uzelac) Bodenschatz signed with Penn State University and was a Big Ten champion.
But even though she is a Johnstown native and spent her early years here, (Uzelac) Bodenschatz trained in Allentown during much of her competitive career.
“This is a huge deal because Amy’s the first one ever from Johnstown who actually trained in Johnstown and got a full-ride scholarship to a Division I program,” said Brenda Uzelac. “That might give gymnasts in Johnstown hope that they can one day earn a Division I scholarship.”
Stewart reached the Junior Olympic Nationals during her sophomore year in 2017 and earned regional honors at different levels throughout her career.
She competes in all-around in the vault, bars, beam and floor routines.
“She’s an amazing girl. She’s worked very hard,” Brenda Uzelac said. “She’s very dedicated and an all-around great kid.”