GRAFTON—One local Grafton girl set her sights big and pushed herself toward a goal that not many achieve.
Twirler Natalea Mumaw has a big summer ahead of her, as she prepares to take on the competition on her quest for the TU Intermediate Title and three International Titles in Solo, X Strut and 2-Baton.
She will also be competing in four open events during the competition. Not only that, but Mumaw has set her sights on gold—gold medals that is, as she prepares to represent herself, her county, and her city at the AAU Junior Olympics, that will take place in Greensboro, NC at the end of July.
“Wow! God had a bigger plan for me this summer, and that was being accepted to compete at the AAU Junior Olympics,” Mumaw expressed.
She revealed that she received an email on May 28 telling her she had been accepted by the National Board into the competition.
“I was all smiles. I had been waiting to hear from them and kind of let it go out of my mind to focus on the TU competition,” Mumaw disclosed. “And, then ding! There was the email!”
She said that it was her mom who revealed she had been accepted, and she did so in a fun way.
“I was staying at my grandma’s when my mom sent a screenshot of the email in a group chat between us and my best friend, Will. All I could do is scream, so since it was through a chat, I sent screaming emojis,” Mumaw shared. “I really think that I’m still in shock!”
The young, but experienced twirler noted that she has been preparing for the Junior Olympics since. She has been spending two to three hours each evening practicing her routines in parks, parking lots, on McKinney Field or anywhere else that will allow her ample room to hone her craft.
“I will be working with my coaches Whitney Godwin, Twirling Coach and former WVU College World Champion Twirler and WVU feature twirler, and Caitlin Blair, owner and instructor at Rising Starz Studio, up until I leave for Greensboro. TU is a big competition and the Junior Olympics, oh my goodness, I’m way excited to compete there,” Mumaw expressed. “I want to bring back gold medals to Grafton but bringing home any medal is going to be a very big accomplishment for me!”
The Olympic hopeful will be hosting a one-of-a-king Beginner Baton Clinic to help show off her craft and teach other’s some tips and tricks of twirling.
The clinic is set to take place on Sunday, June 30, from 2:00-5:00 p.m., at the St. Augustine Social Center. Following the clinic, attendees will be treated to a pizza party, complete with performances by Mumaw.
Both of her coaches will be on hand to help with the clinic.
Mumaw shared that the event is open to any boy or girl who is interested in twirling, and she believes the clinic will provide a good start to their baton education. Coaches, instructors and groups are welcome to attend to learn, as well.
“We will be teaching the correct techniques, different tosses and learning some cool beginner tricks,” she revealed. “Parents are welcome to stay, my mom will be on hand to answer questions about twirling, competition and the studio.”
She disclosed that her mom is one of her biggest supporters and during her off weeks from her coaches, it is her mom and dad making sure she is completing her routines in a timely manner and with a smile on her face.
“My mom is always timing, watching, pointing out any error and my dad, he is the best Baton Dad ever, he is the first to say ‘get on your toes or you need to point your toes’ or my favorite, ‘is that what that’s supposed to be’” she shared.
Those interested in attending will be asked to pay a $25 registration fee. Participants may sign up by contacting Lynsey Mumaw through Facebook or by calling 304-672-6412.
“If you do not have a baton or need one that fits, we will be placing an order prior to the clinic and they are $18,” Lynsey Mumaw revealed. “All our batons are from American Baton Company out of Wisconsin. They are American made and are the main baton used by Team USA and many World Champion Twirlers.”
In addition to her clinic, N. Mumaw also taking orders for cheesecakes and pies, as a way to raise money to help with her competition travels this summer.
“You can order Strawberry, Oreo, Reesecup or Blueberry Cheesecake or Peanutbutter Pie or 3-Layer Lemon Pie,” she noted.
Each pie is $20, and they will be making them up to July 15. Again, to place your order, please contact L. Mumaw via Facebook or by calling.
“I want to say thank you again for the support from my family, friends, the Mountain Statesmen and big thanks to our community. My goal is to spread the love I have for this sport to as many as I can and to teach children this kind of twirling,” N. Mumaw imparted. “As I stated before, this is a family sport. It brings so much happiness even in a terrible performance because we are together and no matter where I twirl, I know one of them will be there to cheer me on!”