Adrenaline-filled life of gymnastics

Mount Si’s Johnson and her team vault to success.

Shelby Johnson likes to burst forth with adrenaline when she’s competing for the Mount Si gymnastics squad.

The senior captain has been involved with the sport since she was 3 years old and jumped into competitions at the age of 7.

“I think learning new skills is super exciting. I think it’s just really cool to show off your skills, too,” said the fourth-year Mount Si gymnast. “Everyone’s just amazed by gymnastics, so it’s always fun to do it. Keeps you in super good shape, too.”

The Wildcat leader — along with co-captain and senior Sarah Christopherson — is excited to see what her team can achieve in her final year at the school. Johnson said the two captains have welcomed some new girls aboard from the Mount Si Gymnastics Academy to meld with the returners and they enjoy showing the newcomers what high school gymnastics is all about.

Johnson and Christopherson are making sure everyone’s working hard and staying positive.

And they’re notching some stellar scores, first with a team 163 in a 1-1 showing against Issaquah (146) and Woodinville (165) and then the Wildcats nailed a 168 to Bothell’s 150. Johnson said they’d like to land in the 170s this season.

“I think it gives us a confidence boost, (saying to ourselves), ‘We got this season, we can do it,’” Johnson said about the high marks. “We’ve got all these new girls, we’re a good team, we can do this.”

Johnson, who formerly competed on the club level but now focuses just on Mount Si, qualified for the 4A state meet on vault the last three years. She made the finals the last two years, finishing 11th as a junior and 13th as a sophomore. Other state returners on the Wildcat squad are Christopherson and Tylor Zwiefelhofer.

On the vault, Johnson said, “It’s the least nerve-racking, but most exciting. You have to really work hard for a big skill.” She’s thrilled to stick a solid landing after flying through the air after implementing a Tsuk, which features a quarter turn and a backflip.

Outside of the gym, Johnson has been taking Running Start courses for the past two years at Bellevue College and is planning to earn her associates degree in June. Following classes at BC — where she has notched a 3.9 grade-point average — she swings over to Mount Si to close out her day with gymnastics. She also played soccer for Mount Si as a midfielder/defender and stepped into the captain’s role as well.

“I really like science a lot and I’m hoping to get into a nursing school at UW or something,” said Johnson, who has applied to the UW.

The Reporter asked Johnson a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?

The North Bend Bar and Grill.

What’s something unique about yourself?

I have a huge 7-inch scar on my arm, which is really cool. I got it in a wakeboarding accident.

What’s your dream vacation spot?

Next year I’m going to Europe with my friend for my senior trip.

Who’s your idol growing up?

My parents.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Just live in the moment. It’s pretty classic, but I think it’s really true.

What’s your favorite kind of music?

Frank Ocean.

What’s a special skill you’d like to learn?

I want to learn more languages.