Who’s That Bulldog? It’s gymnast Greta Snaza. Greta is a junior at MHS and the daughter of Darin and Beth Snaza.
Spend a few hours in the gym with Greta, and you’ll realize she always has a story to tell. “I’m a huge dancer and singer in the gym. I like to have fun,” she says. “I’m pretty chatty and have been since I was little. So, I tend to get in trouble for talking at practice.”
All that chatting might be inspirational. Last year, Greta placed eighth in the state vault competition. This season, Greta has qualified for State in all four events and the all-around competition. “My goal this year is to place again on vault and maybe on floor,” she says.
Greta’s favorite events are vault and floor and her least favorite is the balance beam. She says her greatest accomplishment, thus far in her gymnastics career, is earning the opportunity to complete in the all-around competition for the Lady Bulldogs. “I try my hardest in every event. I know beam’s not my best, but it makes me happy the coaches give me the chance to compete in all-around despite that.”
Greta started gymnastics in kindergarten. The Snaza family was living in Wisconsin and a neighbor suggested Greta try gymnastics. “I liked it a lot, and it just stuck,” Greta says. I have a fun time in gymnastics and with the people I get to be with. It’s just a fun time.”
The Snazas moved to Milbank, Darin and Beth’s hometown, at the end of Greta’s first-grade year. When she was a third grader, Greta joined the Vertical Horizons gymnastics club team led by Coach Amber Fraasch. She participated in the club through sixth grade, and joined the middle school team in seventh grade. In eighth grade, she made the varsity team.
This year, Greta also signed up for cross country and track. “Cross country keeps me in great shape, and I enjoy track,” she says. “There’s more time to think and be by myself at track meets. I can focus more. In gymnastics, it’s just go, go, go!”
Greta also chooses to vault in track – pole vault. And, although that might cause people to assume she’s a daredevil, Greta says she’s not always so brave. “But, if I really want to do something, I’ll just wipe it out. Most of the time when I’m trying new skills, especially on bars and beam, I get really nervous and scared. I get in my head a lot. Seems like if you think about one thing, then you mess up on something else. It’s crazy. To work through this, I just take deep breaths and go for it.”
Injuries and judging are two other challenges for Greta. “It gets frustrating when the judges don’t give you the scores you think they should,” she says. “It also gets frustrating because I seem to get hurt quite often. She is suffering from strained back muscles now, and in the past, injured her hips hurdling in track. She also broke one of her fingers when she was in eighth grade. “When your body doesn’t cooperate, it’s hard to deal with,” she laments.
What else does this Lady Bulldog do for fun? Greta says, “Sports take a lot of my time, so I don’t have time for much else, but I enjoy watching Netflix and hanging out with my friends.” She also does a lot of weightlifting during the summer and teaches young children gymnastics.
“My greatest inspiration,” she says, “has been Natalie Stohr.” Stohr is a former Lady Bulldogs gymnast. “She was a few years older than me, but she worked with some of our little girls gymnastics activities. I remember her showing us things and helping us out. I am grateful for that.”