Tazlyn Wagner competes in a gymnastics meet with her Black Diamond team. Wagner is a gymnast and a golfer and travels the country to compete. (COURTESY PHOTO / Park City Record)
Tazlyn Wagner is only eight years old, but she’s already an athlete in multiple sports.
The Kemmerer second grader started competing in gymnastics when she was four years old and started playing golf when she was two.
“I can’t pick a favorite between gymnastics and golf,” Tazlyn said. “I like both of them!”
Tazlyn practices and competes with Black Diamond Gymnastics in Park City, Utah. She competes in all four events at competitions: bars, beam, floor and vault.
Tazlyn said she likes to practice the splits and handstands. Her favorite event is the floor event, because she gets to do tumbling.
Tazlyn is really dedicated to her sports. She and her dad Jason Wagner drive to gymnastics practice in Park City three times a week.
She’s enthusiastic about everything — school, gymnastics, golf, her family and showing what she’s learned.
“My favorite thing about gymnastics is getting medals,” Tazlyn said.
And she’s done that a lot — between golf and gymnastics, the pint-sized athlete has earned nearly 100 medals at competions.
Tazlyn and her gymnastics team recently competed at a state meet at Utah Valley University.
She said she likes making new friends and being with her team at the competitions.
“I don’t really get nervous,” Tazlyn said. “I just concentrate on what I’m doing.”
Tazlyn said she loves trying new moves in practice, like the rounded back handspring she’s been working on.
She also loves cheering on her team members at competitions.
Tazlyn has met American gymnastics Olympians Jordyn Wieber and Lori Hernandez, and she said she looks up to them as her favorite gymnasts.
But gymnastics isn't Tazlyn's only sport. The second grader also competes at golf tournaments around the country.
"When one season ends, the other starts," said Tazlyn's dad Jason. "She's busy, but she works so hard."
"I started golfing when I was two, because my dad took me down to the golf course and I got to use his clubs," Tazlyn said.
Tazlyn has been to golf tournaments through the U.S. Kids program in Phoenix, Las Vegas and North Carolina.
She talks about seeing turtles — her favorite animal — on the golf course in North Carolina, visiting Trump Tower and riding rides at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.
She knows a lot about the technical aspects of golf, because she's training for when she's a little older and her dad won't caddy for her anymore.
"I am getting a lot better with my driver," Tazlyn said. "I just need to work on being consistent."
Tazlyn said when she has a hard day of competing, she does the same thing in golf as in gymnastics, where she focuses on what she's doing and tries not to pay attention to how others are playing.
Through the U.S. Kids PGA collaboration, Tazlyn has met and played golf with professionals.
For such a young girl, she knows how important a family support system is. She talks about her grandmother Susan and dad Jason with admiration for how much they help and support her in her sports and other activities.
"My family and I go to Top Golf a lot, and I beat them a few weeks ago," Tazlyn said. "We had so much fun."
Tazlyn also plays the piano. "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, because I can't choose yet between golf, gymnastics and piano," Tazlyn said.
The second grader's favorite subjects in school are reading and math, and her favorite food is chips and salsa.
Tazlyn is a busy little girl. Between school, gymnastics and golf, she is training for a kids' spartan race with her dad Jason.
"She knows that if she doesn't practice, she wouldn't get to go to all of these places," Jason said. "It's a lot of travel and a lot of hard work after the school day, but she loves it and she works really hard."