Del Mar athlete wins first and second place honors at national gymnastics competition

Sohan Venkat

Sohan Venkat, a Del Mar resident and freshman at The Bishop’s School, placed second overall in his age division and first in the high bar during the 2022 Men’s Western Championships in Reno, Nev., earlier this month.

There were more than 1,400 athletes who competed in the inaugural Men’s Artistic Development Program Eastern and Western National Championships in Battle Creek, Mich., and Reno, according to a USA Gymnastics news release.

“Because I was more relaxed and very happy to be competing in nationals, I did better than most of the people competing there,” said Sohan, 14, who was competing in nationals for the first time.

Regional champions were determined based on the combined totals of the five highest-scoring athletes from each region at each level, according to USA Gymnastics. Club titles were awarded by level based on the scores of the top three all-around athletes from each club.

For Sohan, the competition was another step in a gymnastics journey that began when he was nine months old. He trained at different gyms over the years before his family arrived in San Diego. For the last three years, he’s been training at Champion Gymnastics and Cheer.

“Half of gymnastics is mental, and you have to be able to take the pressure and be focused at the competition and block everybody else out,” said Sohan, whose training regime consists of five days a week for four hours each day.

He added, “When I’m competing at any event, I’m always so focused on what I’m doing,”

Sohan said he would like to compete in gymnastics when he goes to college, but there are a relatively small number of Division I college gymnastics programs.