Maddie Krentz overcomes knee injury to lead Boise State gymnastics


A major knee surgery as a high school junior left Maddie Krentz worried about how she would handle life without gymnastics.

That fear inspired her to fight back from the injury and realize her dream as a college gymnast at Boise State.

And the experience fixing the chronically dislocated kneecap answered her question about what she would do without her sport: She wants to get into the biomedical engineering field.

“It was physically trying and also emotionally trying for me. I didn’t know what I was going to do or what my plans were for my future if I couldn’t continue gymnastics,” Krentz said. “So it was almost not an option to quit.”

Now a college junior, Krentz majors in mechanical engineering and minors in biomedical engineering. It’s one of the most challenging academic loads a Boise State gymnast has attempted, co-coach Tina Bird said, but it doesn’t show.

It was physically trying and also emotionally trying for me. I didn’t know what I was going to do or what my plans were for my future if I couldn’t continue gymnastics. So it was almost not an option to quit.
— Maddie Krentz

“We’ve had kids take organic chemistry and come in crying every day for a month,” Bird said. “Maddie has never come in stressed out because of her load. She is so organized and so dedicated. She’s been a breeze.”

Krentz, voted a captain by her teammates, will lead the Broncos into the Beauty and the Beast event Friday night at Taco Bell Arena against Southern Utah.

Krentz is coming off the first event victory of her career with a 9.925 on vault in a four-team meet at No. 6 Utah. She also competes on floor and bars and hopes to crack the beam lineup later this season.

She grew up in Cave Creek, Arizona, and trained at the elite level — a step higher than most Boise State gymnasts.

“Maddie’s a jumper,” Bird said. “She’s very punchy. That’s one of the main things we look for in an athlete.”

Krentz has one sister and four brothers — all basketball players. She is the shortest and, she said, worst shooter of the siblings. It might not have mattered — she has been in gymnastics since she was 2 years old, when her mom needed an outlet for her daughter’s abundant energy.

Krentz still has a busy mind. The beam is her worst event because it requires the most focus.

“Maddie talks nonstop,” co-coach Neil Resnick said. “It’s unreal.”

That personality was instrumental in landing her captain status this season alongside senior stars Ciera Perkins and Kelsey Morris.

Krentz describes her approach to the team’s younger gymnasts as “mothering.”

“Maddie sees the positive in everybody and every situation,” Bird said. “There are many times people are down and Maddie just jumps right in there and picks them right up.”

Krentz contributed 22 routines when she was a freshman in 2013. She was named the WAC Freshman of the Year.

She increased her role to 29 routines in 2014. She posted a 9.725 or better on each of her past 16.

“My technique and just my mental toughness have gotten extremely better,” she said. “For me, it’s always been a mental toughness thing.”

This article was written by Chadd Cripe from The Idaho Statesman and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.