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Sports Spotlight: Leese graduating early to accept Rutgers scholarship

Landisville junior will compete in college this Fall

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — It didn't take long for Landisville's Emily Leese to fall in love with gymnastics when she was just four.  Now the 17-year old is a level 10 gymnast at Prestige Gymnastics.  She begins her morning workouts at 7:30 and goes to 11:30, Monday thru Friday.

"It's just become a normal part of my life," she admits.  "I don't even know what I would do without it.  It's just a normal part of my routine.  I wake up and I'm like, here we go, just another day of practice.  Looking forward to it every single day."

In November, she competed at an invitational in York, catching the attention of a recruiter from Rutgers University.  Emily was offered a scholarship and a spot on the 2020 team even though she was just a junior.

"I was so excited to hear I got a full offer to a Division I program.  At first I was like, oh my gosh, there`s no way I can go right away. I`m not mentally prepared for that."

Emily went to full cyber school and found it wasn't too much of a change.  It was a lot more work though to finish a year and a half of school in a little over six months.

"It`s so demanding on their bodies and if you can get out there a year early, it gives you almost a leg up," explained her coach Jen Fatta who is also the owner of Prestige.

Emily isn't the only gymnast from Prestige to finish early.  She leans on former teammate and now Florida Gators star Trinity Thomas for advice.

"She graduated a year early, too. So, I`ve got my points from her and tips that she used to help her get through a day at college because it was a big transition for her so she`s helping me prepare for that."