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Hobbled or not, gymnast Tiede has cherished every minute of this

Mayo gymnast Mia Tiede is regarded as likely the top Rochester prospect to advance to the state meet this season. But getting healthy and staying that way will be key.

Section 1AA Gymnastics Meet
Mayo's Mia Tiede performs a floor routine during the Section 1AA gymnastics meet Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, at Century High School in Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin file photo

Mia Tiede has never felt more responsible.

The Mayo senior spends a piece of virtually every weekday afternoon texting her head Rochester gymnastics coach, Christina Jacobs, checking in to see if there’s anything she can be doing to make practices run smoothly.

Tiede has been with the Rochester gymnastics program — one in which Mayo, John Marshall and Century all train together — since seventh grade.

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This season, her feeling of ownership has hit a new high.

“A lot of times, she’ll check in with me during the day,” Jacobs said. “There are plenty of times where I’ll just say, ‘No, we’re good for today.’ But Mia has been very on point this year. We are really going to miss her next season. She’s been with us since seventh grade. There’s a lot of history there.”

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When it comes to Tiede, that history includes a tough amount of “what could have been.”

Jacobs regards the 5-foot, perfect-for-gymnastic built Tiede to have long been one of the top gymnasts in Section One, Class AA.

Jacobs says that Tiede possesses the mental toughness and physical attributes for greatness, including unusual upper-body strength.

All of it would seem enough to have landed her in the state meet by now. But it hasn’t happened. And for that, Jacobs points to one thing having held her back — injuries.

It hasn’t been an assortment of physical problems. Nope, each and every year it’s been an ankle sprain. They’ve been ill timed, too, almost always happening a few weeks prior to the state-qualifying section meet, just as gymnasts are fine-tuning their acts.

So, Tiede has never been given the opportunity to make her routines just right at just the right time, once even dealing with two ankle sprains at the same time.

“I tend to trade off which ankle it is, each season,” Tiede said with a resigned laugh. “But last year I had stress fractures in both ankles. I think it has just come from all the pounding over the years in gymnastics. Also, my ankles are tiny and they sprain easily. It’s always held me back, because then I don’t get the same amount of practice time as the other girls.”

A sign of hope

This year, things might be different. The hopeful logic is that Tiede might have already gotten her ankle sprain time out of the way. She twisted her left one just before Christmas and hasn’t been able to practice much since, save for a little bit of stuff off to the side.

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Tiede is expected to be back next week. She sure hopes so, because she’s been making a mess of that bit she’s been chomping on.

The senior is doing everything she can to get back, including icing her ankle as she was being interviewed for this story.

“I want to be back out there so badly,” Tiede said. “It’s hard to be patient. There are some things I want to achieve this year. I want to get to state. I feel like I’ve been on the cusp of that the last few years.”

That said, it’s been Tiede’s constant quest to make the most of every practice and every moment with her Rochester teammates. She’s their teenage leader, a status she holds with pride.

Tiede knows the importance of having a team member lead the way.

She also simply covets being out there every day, with a group of girls who mean everything to her. Bonds happen whether she’s hobbling around on a sprained ankle or not.

“I am so incredibly thankful to have been a part of these teams,” Tiede said. “I’ve met so many people through it and made so many friends. It’s been such a fun journey to be on.”

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