Alder’s Aurelius to springboard into the Air Force
By Jane Beathard
Jonathan Alder High School senior Denis Aurelius is flying high in more ways than one these days.
The champion gymnast recently landed a four-year athletic scholarship to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The scholarship is valued at $400,000.
It’s a good return on the years of hard work invested by Aurelius and his family in gymnastics training.
That training began at age 6 when Denis and sisters, Lindsi and Krista, displayed high levels of energy and enthusiasm for tumbling and twisting. The three are triplets. It continued as parents Dori and Glen Aurelius helped establish Integrity Gymnastics and Cheerleading near Plain City.
Lindsi and Krista are members of the Alder cheerleading squad that recently finished second in a statewide competition. Both hope to attend college on cheerleading scholarships.
Ironically, neither parent is a gymnast. Although, Dori was once a high school cheerleader, Denis said.
Last year, Denis began training at The Ohio State University under coach DeRon McIntyre. As part of an OSU club team, Denis traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the Blackjack Invitational, where he finished first in the all-around competition for 16 to 18 year olds. He also finished first in the all-around at the recent Arnold Classic in Columbus.
Stellar performances in the gym and a 3.96 grade-point average drew the attention of Air Force recruiters last summer. Congressman Steve Stivers helped gain an appointment and Denis was on his way to Colorado Springs.
While he participates in all aspects of gymnastics, competing on the “rings” remains his favorite. To keep his skills sharp, Denis trains 3.5 hours daily, six days a week. He’s maintained that routine since age 10.
Despite a rigorous work-out schedule, Denis finds time to take college courses while enrolled at Alder. He is currently studying college English, psychology and sociology online.