Freshman stars for Gymnastics

Sydney Holder wins uneven bars at conf. meet, looks for more at sectionals


Stuart Rodgers

Holder completes her routine to win CSL South meet

New Trier gymnastics has had an impressive year, and out of the woodwork came a freshman to watch, Sydney Holder.
New Trier recently hosted a meet where Evanston Township, Glenbrook South, Maine South, Niles North, and Niles West competed at the Northfield campus. There were four categories at the meet: balance beam, vault, uneven bars, and the floor. Judges adjudicated the routine performed by the gymnast out of a score of 10.
Holder placed first in the uneven bars category with a score of 8.4, with Abby Milliot of Glenbrook South trailing behind her at 8.2. Holder also came in at a close second on the floor, running up behind Emma Greenlees, a New Trier sophomore
Holder has been dedicated to gymnastics for most of her life. “I have been doing gymnastics since I was two, I did the Mom and Tot classes and it’s stuck with me since. It was a very natural sport to me.” Her strengths in her sport can be narrowed down to a few events. “I’m pretty strong on bars and on the floor.”
One of her favorite and most motivational aspects of the sport is the team component. The team stays quite close-knit and provides emotional support.
“We’re a really close team so we’re always cheering each other on and helping each other improve.”
Ellie Winkler, a sophomore on the JV team, describes Holder as fitting in the atmosphere well. “She’s a lot of fun to be around, she’s really silly and its fun to be in practice with her but at the same time she takes it seriously.”
A possible reason for the tightness of the team is the intense practice schedule. Holder describes the schedule as quite grueling. “We practice two and a half hours, five days a week.” During practice, they’ll often interchange between the four events, developing skills which will help them in competitions.
When the high school season is over, gymnasts will often go to clubs in order to keep their skills sharp. Holder, prior to becoming a student at New Trier, competed at Viking gymnastics in order to build her strengths. To her, the best aspects about club gymnastics would be the environment. “I really like the coaches, and I like my teammates.”
While showing clear talent in her sport, Holder describes the mental barriers as being a roadblock to success.
“It’s really hard to let your mind do some of the crazy skills, that’s definitely hard for me to do sometimes.”
However, the right mindset is often all she needs in order to perform well. “Staying positive and focusing and visualizing my routines before I go, that always helps me not psych myself out because I know I can do it. I just have to think positively.”
This positivity is not lost on her teammates. Shelby Brachmann, a sophomore on the team, describes Holder’s effect on her teammates as beneficial. “Sydney’s really talented and hardworking, she’s always trying to improve and she’s friendly and easy to talk to. Everybody likes Sydney.”
As the season comes to a close, the Girls Gymnastics team is celebrating a strong year. The team recently took first place at a meet at Glenbrook North for the first time in their history. The Varsity team is soon to compete in Sectionals, where they are hoping to continue their strong streak.
For Holder, as she looks to the summer, she has set goals in her mind to continue her performance.
“I’m really looking to stay consistent on the skills that I have gotten this year, while also trying to improve on events such as vault. I’m really going to try to develop those skills and get better.”