Girls gymnastics hope youthful team can prove stay competitive

Chloe Haack, Staff Writer

The girls gymnastics team is rostering mostly underclassmen this year, but that won’t stop them from competing in the conference rankings.

Only six of the 35 gymnasts are upperclassmen, giving the team a fresh look into the future. This underclassmen dominant roster calls for a change in dynamic from last year. However, head coach Meghan Koons is not afraid of the challenge. 

“We are in the midst of building our lineups and figuring out which events everyone will be competing in,” Koons said. “I am, however, confident that no matter where they compete, they will all support each other.”

As the team is figuring out lineups, however, this hasn’t stopped them. If anything, this establishes a core set of gymnasts while allowing them to gain experience at different levels. 

“It can be a little hard at first to move between levels,” junior Kate Feeney said. “But hopefully, [the new gymnasts] see the value in getting experience with multiple levels.” 

Despite a lack of experience, to coach Koons, the intrinsic motivation coming from each gymnast, regardless of age, is more important than anything. The confidence it takes to try something new can make a difference between who is competing in the meet that day. 

“It is important to me that our gymnasts are committed to the team and open-minded to the possibility of competing in an event that they are uncertain of or may not like,” Koons said. “The pure joy of accomplishment and self-assuredness is palpable.” 

Senior captain Jamie Otwell can attest to Koons’ mindset. For Otwell, success and fun go hand in hand. 

“None of it matters if you aren’t having a good time, and generally, you find success doing what you enjoy the most,” Otwell said. 

Their next meet is the Homewood-Flossmoor Invite on Dec. 14 .