BIRTHDAY: October 6, 2002
NICKNAME: Taliaparents: Oksana & Adrian Kraus
SIBLINGS: Maya (WVU gymnastics '23), Tymish
SCHOOL: Fairport High School (N.Y.)
GRAD YEAR: 2021
GPA: 94.51 • Spanish National Honor Society
GYM: Rochester Gymnastics Academy (N.Y.)
COACHES: Youlia & Barry Coss
LEVEL: Level 10 (2018 - present)
HOURS TRAINED: 24+ per week
GYM GOAL: compete college gymnastics
CAREER GOAL: Exercise & Sport Science
Natalia was born October 6, 2002 to Oksana and Adrian Kraus in Fairport, N.Y. She has an older sister Maya, currently a sophomore on the West Virginia gymnastics team, a younger brother Tymish and a dog, Cooper. Talia is a senior at Fairport High School with a 94 GPA and will be graduating in June of 2021. Going into her third year as a level 10, Talia is determined to reach her goals of qualifying for Nationals (hoping they can take place!) and earning a spot on a Division I college gymnastics team. Outside of gymnastics, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, perfecting TikToks, painting, and photography (mostly of Cooper).
Talia began gymnastics at the age of three taking Mommy & Me classes alongside her sister Maya. She quickly fell in love with the tumbling and swinging and eventually ended up at Rochester Gymnastics Academy, where she is going on her 12th year under the coaching of Youlia and Barry Coss. She also works at RGA as a rec coach. She enjoys teaching the little kids and hopes to pass on the joy that gymnastics has brought into her life as well as the lessons this sport has taught her. Being a student-athlete has made her a better person because of the discipline, time management and respect it taught her and she knows how to work for what she wants. That work ethic has also helped her in school and in life.
Competing is fun for Talia because it's a chance to show all of the work she puts into practice in the gym everyday. To get ready for a competition, she listens to music that gets her pumped up and ready to compete and she uses the time to take deep breaths and tell herself that she is ready to do her best. No matter how a meet is going, learning to keep a positive attitude has had a huge impact on her performance in competition. Using these tools have helped Talia to rise through the levels consistently over the years and get her to multiple Eastern Nationals, State and Regional gold medals and now the 2021 Junior Olympic Nationals in Daytona Beach, FL.
At the 2017 Level 9 New York State Championships, Natalia placed 1st AA (36.925), UB and BB. She placed 2nd FX and 3rd V. She went on to a strong showing at Regionals with a 2nd AA (37.025), 1st FX, 2nd V and BB, 4th UB, and also at Eastern Nationals with a 2nd FX and 8th AA (36.975).
2018 showed better results at States (1st AA, UB and FX, 3rd V and BB) and again at Regionals (3rd AA, 2nd FX, 4th V and UB) but her highlight of the year came at Eastern Nationals that were held in her hometown, Rochester, N.Y. Talia placed 3rd AA and FX and 4th UB in front of dozens of family and friends that came to cheer her and her teammates on. To do well in front of a crowd that had heard of, but could rarely watch her compete in person was a thrill!
An injury at her first level 10 meet forced limited competitions and her second season was going very well until cut short by Covid closures. Focused and eager to have a full senior year, training was a challenge, but her hard work paid off with a great showing at States and then becoming the Region 6 Champion in the AA, BB and FX and 2nd on UB - all career high scores.
There is a lot she loves about gymnastics, but perhaps her favorite part of being involved in this sport is having her teammates there to cheer her on, encourage her and help her to do her best and for her to be able to return that support to them. She is very grateful that gymnastics has given her such a close group of friends, and very often opponents, that look out for one another.