The thrill of flipping herself through the air, "showing off all the skills I can do," is what motivates home-schooled gymnast Katelyn Mohr.
"I've been very passionate about it ever since I can remember," Mohr said of her gymnastics, which will apparently lead her to the University of Utah's gym team in fall 2009.
She orally committed to the Utes this weekend after making an unofficial visit to the school Dec. 4-5 and plans to sign an NCAA letter of intent for Utah next November.
By then, Mohr hopes to be an Olympian. She finished 13th at last summer's USA Championships and will go to the national team's training camp at Karolyi's in Houston late next month as she prepares in hopes of making the Olympic Trials.
She chose the Utes over Alabama, UCLA, Stanford and Oregon State, the other programs she was considering.
She began gym classes at age 3 because she was climbing the walls of the family home on an 18-acre ranch on a dirt road in Lincoln, Calif., where her parents raise Labrador retrievers, a few cows and a couple of horses. She has one sister, Shannon, also a gymnast.
That bounding energy eventually led Mohr to train at the same Sacramento-area Byers Gymnastics club that produced current Ute sophomore Annie DiLuzio, and the two were teammates. DiLuzio, in fact, designed Mohr's personal Web site as part of a high-school senior project.
DiLuzio will be a Utah senior when Mohr enters the program, and Mohr hopes to learn the ropes from her. Mohr said she also got to know Utah's current freshmen, Jacq Johnson and Kyndal Robarts. "I really bonded with them," she said of her visit. "I really liked the chemistry on the team."Mohr hopes to take up sports medicine at the U. so she can work with athletes as a doctor, trainer or therapist. She lists science as her favorite subject and says, "School and gymnastics that's pretty much my life."