Momentous finish to jumpstart postseason for girls gymnastics

Chloe Haack, Staff Writer

After placing first against Niles West and North Shore Country Day, the gymnastics team will use this momentous finish to aim high in the postseason. 

Senior captain Jamie Otwell led the pack with a first place finish in balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars and vault. Otwell’s performance earned her 34.2 points and an all-around individual first-place finish. Junior Lizzie Budde placed third and freshman Stella Morton placed fifth overall. 

“[It] was a great start to the end of season, because it proved to us that we are a stronger team than in previous years when they beat us,” Budde said. 

Before the Niles West meet, things were rocky for the team. They placed fourth in the Homewood-Flossmoor and Winter Wonderland Invites and lost against Deerfield and New Trier. These weren’t true losses, because each gymnast showed a bit of improvement in every competition. 

Sophomore Ava Axelrood finished third overall in the Winter Wonderland Invite with 8.4 points on uneven bars and 8.4 points on balance beam. 

For gymnastics, injuries always have a great impact on performance. Gymnastics is a physically taxing sport, and oftentimes, athletes are likely to get injured a few times a season.

“To get through these [injuries], we all have to be flexible and willing to step in where people are needed, even if it is not our best event,” Budde explained. 

Finishing the season off stronger than it started is a huge goal for the team. Otwell hopes that with all of the work they have put in, something positive will result. 

We will continue to work on perfecting our skills and routines to prepare for the qualifying meets,” Otwell said.

Their next meet is the CSL Conference Tournament tonight at GBN at 6 p.m.