Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Senior Spotlight: Alexis Brawner

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Senior gymnast Alexis Brawner is inching closer to walking the stage at the Show Me Center and receiving her diploma on Saturday, May 12. She still has two meets remaining: the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional in Alabama, Saturday and the USA Gymnastics Womens Collegiate National Championships in Texas, April 15. In the midst of preparing for her final two meets of her career, she reflected on her gymnastics experience.

Major: Biomedical Sciences

Dream job: Pediatric Oncologist

Ive always known I wanted to be a doctor. When I was little I wanted to be a vet. But Im more of a people person than a pet person.

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

I was born in Canada, so I guess Im technically from Ontario. In the eighth grade, my parents moved so I could pursue gymnastics at a collegiate level.

Transitioning from Detroit to Cape Girardeau: Im not much of a small- town person, so that was a little bit different for me cause Im more of a city girl, but I mean you get used to it.

Parents: Quincy Brawner and Heather Walker

For a year before we moved, my dad drove me across the border every day. He got off of work early, picked me up from school early and we crossed the border. Eventually, they were like, Ok, lets make the move, so they made the sacrifice.

Sibling: Brother, Trey.

My brother was a junior at the time (of the move) so he had to move to a different country for me. Im sure that was a hard pill to swallow.

Events competed in:

All of them: vault, bars, beam, floor, all-around.

First exposure to gymnastics:

I was 7 or 8, it was a friends birthday party. We just jumped around and I thought it was so fun. My parents put me in, and ever since then, it was kind of history after that.

Why she chose Southeast:

It was the second school to offer me, and it just seemed like the right fit for me.

Fondest gymnastics memory before Southeast:

We used to do fly-aways every year, so we would get to go to Florida and I always thought that was pretty cool.

Fondest gymnastics memory at Southeast:

Senior night. It was nice to celebrate making it through and all the hard work.

A message she would give Southeast gymnastics:

I definitely want to thank my coach Brittney Emmons for embracing me with open arms and accepting me and believing in me. Shes been amazing; shes been one of the most supportive coaches Ive ever had. I havent enjoyed gymnastics as much as I did this year, so I want to thank her for that. And my teammates have been so supportive. I just love them, and Im glad I got to share this experience with them. I wouldnt want to share it with anybody else.

Advice for future Redhawk gymnasts:

Make sure that you come in with a good attitude and just always work hard and persevere because its never going to be easy. But it gets better; I mean as I can say, my freshman year was a tragedy. If you work hard and stay positive and you trust your coaches and you trust your teammates, then you can do big things here.