SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) –A Lincoln High School student in Sioux Falls is starting off her senior year as a world champion. Delaney Gramlick just returned home from France after more than two weeks of competing against some of the best roller derby athletes in the world.

“I’ve been playing roller derby for seven or eight years now,” Delaney Gramlick said.

Delaney Gramlick joined the Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby team when she was in 4th grade.

“I was very nonathletic, not good at roller skating,” Gramlick said.

“She was just a little elementary school kid on roller skates who barely knew where her own feet were,” Sioux Falls Jr. Roller Derby coach Heather Christensen said.

But Delaney is a testament to how much hard work and commitment can pay off, quickly improving her skills to qualify for one of the nation’s top honors.

“The USA team held try outs, which I tried out for last summer, I tried out, so they told me in November that I made it,” Gramlick said.

Over the past six months she’s traveled all over the country to practice with her team of 20 elite roller derby athletes.

“A bunch of people from Philadelphia, people from Tampa, Lincoln, Nebraska, De Moines, Iowa,” Gramlick said. “It was so cool skating with 19 other players who lived and breathed roller derby.”

Their dedication shined at the World Jr. Roller Derby competition in France this summer where team USA was one of eight nations competing for gold.

“We got first place,” Gramlick said.

A world championship win her teammates back in Sioux Falls stayed up all night to watch.

“There was a seven hour time difference,” Christensen said. “The last night for the finals we had a sleepover at my house, had 15 kids there, stayed up all night, wore our best America themed outfits and cheered her on.”

Delaney was a blocker for Team USA and was featured several times in the online play-by-play of the world competition.

“She had some great moments of blocking,” Christensen said. “People who know Delaney from other aspects of life would be surprised to see how aggressive she is on the track because she truly is a beast.”

A title she’d love to continue for many more years of roller derby competitions.

“It’s not a very known sport, it’s not easily accessible, so I need to lobby for roller derby in the Olympics, it’s truly my favorite thing to do,” Gramlick said.

The Sioux Falls Junior Roller Derby Team has been around since 2011 and travels all over the US to compete throughout the year. If you’re interested in learning more about the sport, visit their website.