Gymnastics to compete at tournament

Sophomore Ananya Visweswaran performs her vault in competition.

Jesse Bond

Sophomore Ananya Visweswaran performs her vault in competition.

Joey Eovaldi, Sports Editor

‘Small but mighty.’

Girls gymnastics is focused on winning the A Star Is Born tournament as they take their team down the road to Niles West tonight.

     “This year our team is way closer partially because we have practice together as an entire team,” coach Meghan Koons said. “Compared to the last few years, when each level [Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshmen] practiced on their own, we see a closer and more supportive team this season.”

     The Kits have just six varsity gymnasts this year, but that has helped them become a closer and better team.

     “We have been doing stuff together over the offseason and during this season, so we’re really close as a team this year,” said junior Fiona Green. “Being closer has helped the team build morale this season through support and leadership.

     The close-knit varsity team isn’t competing tonight, but they know treating this tournament as a meet is important to set a precedent for the JV gymnasts to follow.

While the varsity team has proven that team bonding correlates with a team’s success, the junior varsity team gets a shot to show off their talent tonight, as well.

     “The fun part about this meet is that the JV girls get a chance to shine, hence the name of the meet, while having the full support of their teammates,” said Niles West head coach Susan Arcus.

     The A Star Is Born Tournament features JV teams, giving athletes whose average is a 7.8 or lower a chance to showcase their skill while the focus is primarily on them.

     “I expect the JV team to do really well,” said senior team manager Magda Pukal. “They have an opportunity to rise up and show their talent, and they’ll have tons of support from the rest of the team.”

     The varsity Kits are led by senior Caroline Christensen and sophomores Jamie Otwell and Emma Friend.

     On top of being one of the closest gymnastics teams in years, this team has tons of talent, as freshman Elizabeth Budde and Livia Fredrick both made varsity their first year.

     “We really have worked and put forth tons of effort this year,” said Budde. With a wide variety of talent and leadership, the Kits know they have to stay focused on their progress as they continue to bond as a team.