When she goes to a gymnastics meet, Maria Trahin doesn't have just a head coach and two assistants to satisfy, she has a whole family of them.
The sophomore is the last of the remarkable Poinsatte family dynasty at Bishop Dwenger, and she usually satisfies just about everyone with her performances. Her mother, Karen, is one of the Saints assistant coaches along with her aunt Janet Schipper, and her aunt Rosemarie Nix is the head coach.
Along with countless past and present cousins, her older sisters Buffy, Rebecca and Brittany also competed for the Saints, who have won five team state titles.
"It was a lot of pressure on me, but I guess it motivated me more so I could make them proud,'' Maria said. "I always looked up to my sisters, and I've been watching them my whole life so I knew what to expect.''
That's still a lot of family heritage to deal with, and sometimes it can be hard to establish your own identity, especially in the family sport.
"Sometimes I think it can have both effects,'' Nix said. "Sometimes people say the name is known so that might give you a little bump up, but on the other hand when you are following the others, maybe they are expecting more from you. Maria does a nice job in ... handling all that and really, really concentrating.''
That's one reason why Trahin is The News-Sentinel Gymnast of the Year. She placed fourth on bars, seventh on vault and 11th on the floor exercise to finish ninth in the all-around at last weekend's state meet at Ball State. That helped the Saints to a second-place finish in the team standings.
It's a family joke, sort of, that Maria never had a choice but to be a gymnast.
"You can probably be a little harder on them,'' Nix said. "It's kind of funny because I don't know about my sister's house, but here you are not talking about gymnastics at home. There is that fine line there and you don't want to burn them out.''
There are ups and downs with that though. Sometimes Trahin wants to walk away but other times she loves it and that carries her through.
"It's not a rule that we don't talk about it, but we don't talk about a bad day,'' Trahin said. "Usually it stays at the gym. Being part of such a big family, I always think about what's going to happen to Dwenger gymnastics when I graduate. It's weird to think about.''
That won't be for a while yet, and Trahin still wants to win a state title. Maybe in the next two years, she'll have a chance to surpass all her sisters' accomplishments.