BRISTOL - When thereâ€™s a unique talent at the high school level it stands out.
At Plainville, Sydni Spencer embodies that both at the school and outside the school.
â€śSheâ€™s a phenomenal athlete,â€ť the Blue Devilsâ€™ Jailen Lindsey said. â€śShe does her best at everything. We always give her support and she gives it her best.â€ť
Spencer is a high level gymnast with her best event being the vault and at the school she competes on the outdoor track team with her best event being the 100 meter hurdles.
â€śSheâ€™s a very good athlete,â€ť Plainville head coach Tim Shea said. â€śSheâ€™s strong, sheâ€™s fast and sheâ€™s got a good mental take on things too. She understands things. Sheâ€™s just starting to reach her potential now. She had a very good freshman year and she did well at the state meet. She missed last year because of the injury and weâ€™re hoping to she finished off this season great.â€ť
Last March Spencer tore her ACL during gymnastics and had to work ferociously to get back into her peak form. Her track teammates believe she is there already.
â€śSeeing her come back from her injury was inspiring,â€ť Lindsey said. â€śNow she looks to be back at her best which is good to see.â€ť
Spencer, now a junior, finished in third place at the Bristol Invitational in the 100 hurdles on Friday. She also competed in the 4x100 meter and 100 meter dash.
â€śSheâ€™s very smooth when she runs,â€ť Shea said. â€śSheâ€™s very coachable and sheâ€™s only a junior. She has a good head on her shoulders and weâ€™re happy to see her run every day. When you see certain kids run, itâ€™s good and her future is bright whether itâ€™s gymnastics or track.â€ť
Now, Spencer will turn her attention back to gymnastics with nationals approaching next week in Rochester, N.Y. Gymnastics is her main sport.
â€śItâ€™s a little hard, but Iâ€™ve been doing multiple sports for my whole life,â€ť Spencer said. â€śI kind of just learned to balance the both of them and the timing works out because track is right after school and I donâ€™t have gymnastics until later.â€ť
She also has some added pressure on herself going into Nationals next week in Rochester
â€śIâ€™m nervous going into Nationals,â€ť Spencer said. â€śIâ€™m coming off a torn ACL from last March and this is my first season back so hopefully it turns out in my favor.â€ť
While the nerves may be there, Spencer will have her dad, Tony, there to support her. The two have worked together with gymnastics for years as Spencer has coached his daughter throughout her youth.
â€śHeâ€™s definitely the No.1 motivator in my life,â€ť Spencer said of her father. â€śWhenever I do less than my best he always is right on my butt making sure that I give 100 percent effort.â€ť
And what could be trouble for opponents is Spencer still has another year ahead to improve both in track and gymnastics.
Regardless of how she does, her work ethic and ability to balance schoolwork and extracurricular activities has inspired her teammates.
â€śSyd is super hard working,â€ť Plainvilleâ€™s Hannah Zelasko said. â€śShe performs so well in everything she does and it really makes me jealous.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org