Gymnastics team sticks a top five landing at state

Gymnastics ends season 4th in the state with a score of 146.275

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On Saturday, Feb. 17, the girls Varsity gymnastics team competed at State finishing in 4th place with a score of 146.275.

The team was edged out of third place by Glenbrook South with a score of 146.60. The tournament included teams from Glenbard West, Maine South, Glenbrook South, Carmel, Prairie Ridge, Wheaton, and Warrenville co-op.

Senior captain Caroline Hartman stated that at a meet as competitive as State, the atmosphere is always intense.

“We tried to keep positive vibes throughout the meet and to focus on ourselves, as opposed to the competition.  Since there’s no defense in gymnastics, no way of stopping the competition, we just had to focus on what we could do,” said Hartman.

While the team did not win, they had several strong events. Every girl who competed on bars scored above a 9.0.

“My favorite part of the meet was sticking my dismount off bars because it felt good to do my last bar routine and end with a stuck landing,” said senior captain Emma Jane Rohrer.

For junior Darcy Barkal, this was her first state meet. She did all around and had an outstanding performance despite being injured throughout the week before the meet.

“She landed a beautiful vault and scored a 9.6.  It was crazy because she wasn’t even able to warm it up because she was in so much pain,” noted Hartman. The day after, they found out that Barkal’s ankle was fractured.

“We never knew the intensity of her injury and we are all so proud of her for competing,” said junior Zoey Spangler.

Spangler commented that she was inspired when watching her other teammates as well. “Watching the other girls getting fired up to hit on vault was really amazing and inspiring. They all came together and delivered some of their best vaults. They knew that it was our last chance to medal, and they all wanted to make our coach proud, and they delivered,” she said.

Even if some parts of the meet didn’t go as well for the team as they would have liked, such as the beam, they trained the hardest they had all season for it.

After sectionals, the team really wanted to concentrate on getting their consistency up, according to sophomore Rachel Zun.

“If everyone had seen our practices and previous meets, they would have known we were one of, if not, the strongest team there,” said Hartman.

In order to prepare for the meet, the team would do pressure routines, even bringing random people into the gym to make sure they were ready for all the people that would be watching them compete at State.

Leading up to the highly competitive meet, Spangler worked on the specific event that she knew she would be competing in, the beam.

“I really wanted to perfect that event so I could do my part for the team,” she said.

For some, state was bittersweet, as it was not only the last meet of the season, but also the last meet ever for many seniors.

“Once I landed my second vault it hit me that I will never do gymnastics again. I immediately started crying. It hit me all at once and I realized how much I am going to miss my team, but I wish them all the best,” said Rohrer.

Spangler, who has been competing with Rohrer for the last 10 years, admitted to getting emotional during Rohrer’s floor routine.

“There’s this part where the beat drops and she points to the judges. But in her routine she was right in front of her mom and she pointed right at her. It really hit me then and there that it was her last meet, and the reaction from her mom when she pointed at her was so cute. I couldn’t keep it in and started bawling my eyes out,” said Spangler.

Like Rohrer, many seniors on the team have been doing gymnastics for most of their lives, but will not continue in college.

“There was that moment when it just kind of hit me that it was the end, that my gymnastics career was over. I’ve been doing gymnastics nonstop for 10 years. It’s been an amazing season and I’ve had so much fun over the years, but I’m sad to let it go,” said Hartman.

Zun said that she’ll miss the seniors because they’ve been such an integral part of the team.

“But I think that being so close to getting a trophy lit a fire under us for next year, and we are all already planning for next season,” she said.

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