Peyton Michelle Ernst was born on January 27, 1997 in Covington, Louisiana to Rob and Michelle Ernst. She has an older sister, Bailey and two younger sisters, Madison and Reilly.Currently, Peyton is a senior at Coppell High School. She will join the University of Florida gymnastics team during the 2015-2016 school year.
At the age of three, Peyton and her older sister, Bailey, joined Mommy and Me classes. Both fell in love with the sport and joined pre-team at Bengals Gymnastics in 2003. They started their competitive gymnastics career at Elite Gymnastics in Louisiana where they trained until December of 2009.
In 2006, Peyton was a level 6 gymnast. She placed second in the all-around and won the uneven bars at the Charleston Cup. She moved up to level seven in 2007. At the National Judges Cup, Peyton won vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the all-around. She then won uneven bars and the all-around at the Houston National Invitational.
Peyton began her 2008 season as a level 8 gymnast at the WOGA Classic, where she finished third in the all-around and first on balance beam. At the Battle of New Orleans, she won the all-around title as well as first on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Peyton won the all-around titles at the Le Bon Temp and Purple & Gold. At the Level 8 State Championships, she swept the gold medals. She then won the all-around title at the Level 8 Regional Championships. She also won gold medals on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
After one level nine meet, Peyton began competing level ten in 2009. She placed third in the all-around and first on balance beam at the Le Bon Temp meet. At the WOGA Classic, Peyton placed sixth overall. She then finished second in the all-around at the Metroplex Challenge. At the Level 10 State Championships, she finished second in the all-around, first on balance beam and second on vault and uneven bars. She then won the all-around title at the Level 10 Regional Championships along with three silver medals on vault, balance beam and floor exercise and a gold medal on uneven bars. There, she qualified to the Junior Olympic Nationals, where she placed 19th overall and fifth on uneven bars. After Peyton's 2009 season, she moved to Texas to train at Texas Dreams Gymnastics.
In 2010, Peyton traveled to Tempe, AZ for the Arizona National Elite Qualifier, where she finished fourth in the all-around and third on uneven bars. There, she qualified to junior international elite and to the VISA Championships in Hartford, CT. Nearly a month later, Peyton placed eighth overall at the Texas National Elite Qualifier. At the US COvergirl Classic in Chicago, IL, Peyton placed 17th in the all-around and 11th on balance beam. A few weeks later, Peyton competed at the VISA Championships, where she finished 17th in the all-around and tenth on balance beam.
Peyton began her 2011 season at the Texas Prime Meet in February where she won a silver medal on uneven bars. She traveled to Florida for the Disney National Elite Qualifier and placed second in the all-around and third on vault. A few weeks later, Peyton qualified to her second VISA Championships after finishing sixth in the all-around and fourth on vault and uneven bars at the American Classic. At the VISA Championships in St. Paul, MN, Peyton finished 16th in the all-around, sixth on balance beam and tenth on uneven bars.
In 2012, Peyton finished fourth in the all-around and second on vault and balance beam at the WOGA Classic. At the Texas Prime Meet, she earned gold medals on vault, balance beam, floor exercise and in the all-around. Peyton did really well at the American Classic in Huntsville, TX, finishing second on vault and in the all-around, first on balance beam and third on uneven bars. A few weeks later, she traveled to Chicago, IL for the Secret US Classic where she placed sixth in the all-around and fifth on vault. At the VISA Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, Peyton placed seventh in the all-around, eighth on vault and balance beam and ninth on uneven bars.
Peyton had a busy 2013 season! She started her season by traveling to Italy for the City of Jesolo Trophy. She placed fourth in the all-around and helped the USA team to win the team gold medal. Peyton and her USA teammates traveled to Germany one week later for the Tri-Meet. The USA team placed first while Peyton tied for second place with Simone Biles in the all-around. Following the European tour, Peyton traveled to Tokyo, Japan for the Tokyo World Cup where she placed second in the all-around right behind Japan's Asuka Teramoto. In July, Peyton competed at the Secret US Classic in Chicago, IL and placed second in the all-around, first on balance beam and second on floor exercise. A few weeks later, Peyton traveled to Hartford, CT for the P&G Championships. She had a great competition where she finished fourth in the all-around and fourth on uneven bars and balance beam. She was named to the Senior US National Team and was invited to attend the Worlds Selection Camp. In November, Peyton competed at the Mexico Open.
In 2014, Peyton traveled to Italy for the City of Jesolo Trophy with USA team where she helped the team to win the team title ahead of Italy and Japan. Peyton placed second in the all-around in the senior session. A month later, Peyton traveled to Canada for the Pacific Rim Championships. She, once again, helped the USA team to win gold medal ahead of Canada and China. She was unable to compete rest of the season due to an injury.
Currently, Peyton is preparing for the upcoming 2015 season as a senior international elite gymnast. She trains about 36 hours per week at Texas Dreams Gymnastics in Coppell, TX under coaches Kim Zmeskal-Burdette and Chris Burdette.