By Anna Rose Johnson

Michigan’s Natalie Wojcik enjoyed an amazing breakout meet at the recent Cancun Classic, hitting a near-perfect yurchenko 1 ½ and ranking fifth all-around in the nation after NCAA Week One. Wojcik also achieved the highest-ever all-around debut score for a Michigan freshman, and was fittingly named Big Ten Freshman and Big Ten Gymnast of the Week following her outstanding performance. We caught up with Wojcik after the Cancun Classic to chat about the start of her collegiate career, why she chose Michigan, and more!

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Inside Gymnastics: Tell us about your fantastic weekend, with your amazing vault and your first-ever NCAA meet!
Natalie Wojcik: It was so much fun to finally [start] my collegiate career. That vault was definitely a highlight of the meet; it was a lot fun to help out my teammates and get excited afterward!

Inside: How did it feel to see your name on the national rankings with legendary gymnasts like Maggie Nichols and Kyla Ross?
Natalie: It was definitely very exciting. Just to be able to hit a good meet for my team was the goal and to be able to do that was very fulfilling.

Inside: How is your training going?
Natalie: Training’s going well, practices are super fun. All the energy the team brings to practice in cheering each other on every day keeps me going and it kind of motivates all of us.

Inside: What is your favorite apparatus?
Natalie: Beam!

Inside: What are some of the reasons that you chose Michigan?
Natalie: Michigan has great academics and athletics, and that was definitely something that I was looking for. We have a very knowledgeable coaching staff, and a lot of opportunities available here to kind of grow as a person…through gymnastics and through school.

Inside: So far, how is college gymnastics different than club? What are some takeaways you’ve had at the beginning of your freshman year?
Natalie: The focus [is] on the team. One of the mottos at the University of Michigan is “The team, the team, the team!” So I think we really keep that in mind every day, just motivating each other and getting loud and having fun…it’s been really exciting.

Inside: You had such a fabulous J.O. career; you qualified to multiple Nastia Liukin Cups and competed internationally; what were some of your favorite moments from Level 10?
Natalie: Definitely the Nastia Cups. I remember watching the very first one on TV, and so to be a…kind of switch from that position of the little girl watching it to being on that stage was super exciting. And then also J.O. Nationals [was another big] highlight.

Inside: What are your goals for this season and for your entire career at Michigan?
Natalie: Short-term, just having fun every single day and pushing myself and my teammates to be better. We…hopefully [will] make it to Nationals and have a good showing there.

Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan

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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com