Gymnasts reflect on season


Eris Rindt, Reporter

The 2021-22 NHS gymnastics team has faced an array of challenges this season whether due to COVID-19 restrictions, or working through a hard routine, yet they continue to preserve. Throughout the fall season the gymnastics team has competed all throughout Kansas. Gymnastics is a fall sport that takes place during the same season as other girl sports such as volleyball, tennis and golf. This year’s team consists of 10 people.

Playing on a team sport for two hours a week as a student can have a positive effect on a players mood according to Reuters. Each student on the team works on different routines, or conditioning for a set amount of time depending on what other events or activities the gymnast has going on. During the school year of 2020-21 the gymnastics team made it to the State competition which was held at NHS. 

Practice varies for everyone but on a typical day we go for an hour in the morning, 5:45 a.m. – 6:45 a.m., then two hours in the afternoon, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., but since there’s a few of us in cheer, we often have to leave a little earlier than the others [for games and other activities],” senior Georgia Garcia said. 

The team has competed a total of four times this season, with two of their home meets being rescheduled due to COVID-19 related issues. Senior night this year was hosted on Oct. 9 and honored three seniors; Rylie Pierce, Georgia Garcia and Elena DeLeon. During competitions each gymnast that competes receives a scoring on a scale of 1-10. One meaning there are needs for improvements and 10 being the best score a gymnast could achieve. Points can be taken away if the gymnast falls or takes an extra step according to USA Gymnastics. 

“My first meet that I competed in was [Sept. 20] and I got a 6.9 on floor,” sophomore Addie Forman said. “Obviously I kind of find [meets] scary, depending on if it’s an invitational vs. a quad. An invitational has a lot of people while a quad does not. The invitational was scary even though I didn’t compete. Some of those girls are intimidating.”

Currently, there are two coaches that advise the team; head coach JoAnne Thaw and assistant coach Keely Boston. The main job of the coaches is to advise and guide the gymnasts into finding their strengths or helping them work on improving their weaknesses. 

“My main struggle is definitely mental, I get worried easily that I’m going to fall or something, so that’s definitely an issue,” freshman Abbigale Steinert said. “The coaches have helped me a lot by encouraging me to try other things because I get stuck on mental things sometimes where I don’t want to go for something because it is scary.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has not had much availability for team bonding but the members have bonded and shared memories together during bus trips and other smaller events. As the team goes to meets they take a bus together which leaves time for the team to bond. 

“[My favorite memory] is probably the sandwich making contest we had in the dark on the bus,” Foremen said. “It was pitch black and we were trying to have a sandwich making competition.”