NHS hosts State Gymnastics


Caleb Smith

Gymnastics team prepares for the State competition hosted at home on Nov. 7.

Kati Blaylock, Reporter

Ending your sport season by competing at State is one thing every athlete dreams about. This year, the gymnastics team took this dream one step further and had the opportunity to host State gymnastics. However, due to a positive COVID-19 case on the team, the entire team had to quarantine exactly two weeks prior to the event.

“We had to do as much preparation from home as we could due to the quarantine we were put under,” senior Toria Thaw said. “This included running, going through beam and floor routines as much as we could and normal stretching.” 

Regardless of where the State gymnastics competition is held, participating teams are allowed to practice their routines the night before. Due to the circumstances that the NHS team faced, this was adjusted.

“We had to come in early in order to get some practice in beforehand,” Thaw said. “Also as a bit of team bonding before we would [typically] go out to eat in past years, but this year we went after due to the quarantine still being in effect Friday night.”

As the number of cases increased in the county, there were speculations of postponing the event or even a cancelation. However, due to precautionary measures put in place this ultimately was not the case.

“We already had precautions in place, we had a limited capacity. It was not going to be open to the general public, there were limited tickets we gave out for the participants and families,” athletic director Brian Becker said. “We had the same precautions we normally have like wearing masks, social distancing, cleaning equipment and different things we would normally do that were already in place.”

Aside from the fact that masks were required to be worn by the gymnasts when unable to social distance, State competition was an entirely different experience due to the fact that this was the first time that any of the existing team members had competed in this competition at home. 

“I think that being at home adds a different kind of pressure. It is not as easy to pretend that it is just any other meet, especially hosting State,” junior Georgia Garcia said.

At the end of the day, the team came in seventh, finishing their 2020 season. 

“I’m definitely going to miss my teammates. We have practice everyday during the season for three hours and then have competitions on top of that, that last at least four hours along with the travel time to and from Kansas City,” Thaw said. “We have developed a bond that I will appreciate for a very long time.”