When she is not attending school, doing homework, carrying out her duties as Junior Beta Club treasurer or attending Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings, she is working out 20 hours a week at American Elite Gymnastics in Fort Oglethorpe, where she’s been tumbling and jumping since age 3.
Her coach, Rebekah Reyher, was a 1990 Junior Olympic National Team member and has instilled the love of gymnastics and competition in Katie.
“Katie is a joy to coach, and I expect much success in her gymnastics career,” Reyher said. “Katie strives for excellence in and out of the gym. I am very proud of her.”
During the 2012 competition season, Katie competed as a USAG Level 8-Optional Gymnast and qualified to compete in the state meet at Lanier High School in Buford, Ga. She placed third on balance beam, sixth on uneven bars and finished in the top 75 of Level 8 gymnasts to qualify for regionals.
The Region 8 Gymnastics Championships were held in Kissimmee, Fla., where Katie placed second on balance beam, ninth on floor exercise and eighth all-around, with a 36.125 in her division.
Daily gymnastics training led her to competitive running. In the past year, she competed in and won her age division in the “Out Run the Police” 10K in Chattanooga. She also ran her first half-marathon this year — the St. Jude Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tenn. — in memory of family friend Cody Heard and placed 15th in her age division.
Katie does not focus just on athletic competitions. In May, she competed in the 1890s Day Pageant in Ringgold, where she was crowned queen in her division and won prettiest smile and prettiest eyes. Most recently, she was recognized as one of LaFayette Middle Schools homecoming sweethearts.
Although Katie stays busy most of the time, she still finds time to be a normal teenage girl. She enjoys swimming, texting, Facebook and hanging out with family and friends.
She is the daughter of Tammy Cordle Keith of Rock Spring and Rickey Keith of LaFayette and the sister of Jacob (Tank) Keith. Her grandparents are Doug and Linda Cordle of Rock Spring and Junior and Opal Keith of LaFayette. Her great-grandmother is Velma Cordle of LaFayette. Her most supportive gymnastics fans are Russell and Ann Haslerig Turley of Rock Spring.