|Name Hayden Sanders |
|Birthday October 12, 2004|
|Hometown St. Simons Island, GA ||Parents Diana Walther |
|Siblings Michael, Jack, Trent & Avery|
|School Georgia Cyber Academy |
|Grad Year Class of 2023|
|GPA 4.0 GPA in Gifted Program |
Hayden resides in St. Simons Island, GA with her mom, Diana Walther, Nicole Howell and four siblings. Hayden is the middle child of five where she has two sisters, Michael and Avery and two brothers, Jack and Trent. Hayden's older sister, Michael is a gymnast at Southeastern Missouri State University (SEMO) and her younger sister, Avery is a gymnast at Starlight Gymnastics. Currently, Hayden is an honor student at Georgia Cyber Academy. She is in the Gifted Program where she currently maintains a 4.0 GPA.
Hayden started gymnastics when she was two years old. When Hayden saw her older sister practicing, she would try to run onto the floor! Her first coach, Seth Dalton, thought she had potential and he helped her learn skills to prepare for joining the team. Hayden competed level 2 when she was four years old. She was coached by Yuri Kalinin and Viktar and Olga Vystokski at Golden Isles Gymnastics. One of her meets was at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, her mother was concerned that she might be intimidated by the large crowd. However, Hayden glanced at a few empty seats and asked, “Aren’t there more people coming?” At the end of the meet, she said, “I want to stay here forever!” She left with five medals around her neck and a huge smile. Hayden has loved gymnastics ever since. One of her coaches, Rachel Foley, described her as having a “perpetual smile” while on the gym floor and said it is clear that she is “having the time of her life”. Coach Angela Jones at Camden Gymnastics also played a major role in encouraging Hayden and teaching her new skills.
Following her level 7 season in 2014, Hayden moved to Starlight Gymnastics in Jacksonville, FL. She started competing level 8 in 2015 where she finished seventh on balance beam and floor exercise at the State Championships, qualifying to Regionals. Hayden continued competing level 8 in 2016, finishing fourth in the all-around with a 37.125 and fourth on uneven bars. At the Region 8 Championships, she placed in the top ten in the all-around and eighth on uneven bars. Hayden moved up to level 9 for the 2017 season. After three meets, she broke the scaphoid bone in her wrist and was out of the gym for four months. Hayden continued competing level 9 for the 2018 season. At the State Championships, she won the balance beam title with a 9.425. She qualified to the Region 8 Championships, finishing fourth on balance beam and eighth on floor exercise. Hayden was unable to compete most of the 2019 season due to an injury.
Hayden qualified to the 2020 Level 10 State Championships but was unable to compete due to COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Hayden placed ninth on balance beam at the Level 10 State Championships.
Hayden trains 26 hours per week at Starlight Gymnastics in Jacksonville, FL under coaches Vessy Ivanov and Cheri Gillikin. Her long-term goal is to compete for a college gymnastics team.