Gymnastics brings state (runner up) title home

Girls end successful season on a high note after several top placements

On Feb. 15 and 16, New Trier’s gymnastics team geared up for their biggest event of the year.          

The Trevians were ahead of their rival Maine South that scored 147.25 and Glenbrook South with 147.15.

This was the best finish in NT’s program history. Months of hard work, dedication, and commitment helped New Trier place second overall as a team at the state meet in Palatine.

Senior Erin Murdoch acknowledged the team’s hard work, “Everyone comes to practice everyday ready to run through routines, which definitely helped us at state.”

Looking back, New Trier has only won trophies in 1992 and 1993.

In 1992, there was a tie for second which now stands as the school’s second best finish. The Trevians took second place at the 2019 state meet at Palatine by scoring 147.525 following behind Glenbard West with a score of 149.025.

The gymnasts were even more driven and focused this season after placing fourth last season and fifth the year before.

“We were really happy with the outcome. For the past three years, our goal was to make top three on the podium and the past two years we just barely missed it, so it was super exciting to get second and finally achieve that goal for the first time in over 20 years,” said Erin Murdoch.

The State series began with the Conference meet, then the Regional meet, and the Sectional meet that all lead up to the final meet at Palatine.

New Trier qualified as a team by large for Friday. On Feb. 15, the team consisted of the typical varsity lineup. The girls on the team always prepared well before their meets.

“I think everyone has different pre-rituals individually, like [junior] Maeve Murdock knocks on wood before each routine, but as a team we always have a group pep talk before we start competing and hold hands during important routines,” Erin Murdoch revealed.

In order to compete on Feb. 16, the gymnasts had to place in the top eleven in the preliminaries the day before. If each individual’s score on Saturday was better than their Friday score, that helped boost the overall team score. Otherwise, the Friday team score remained the same.

According to senior Darcy Barkal, “The hardest challenge going into state was just being super consistent on our routines and not letting nerves get in the way of anything.”

Erin Murdoch agreed with Barkal that consistency is key, “It can be really difficult to always hit your routine every time you compete without falling. To qualify for state, we needed high team scores at both regionals and sectionals, so it was really important that everyone did

the best they could.”

New Trier had three individuals who competed on Feb.16 — seniors Darcy Barkal, Maeve Murdock and junior Avery Faulkner.

The gymnastics team had strong competitors in all events, especially vault and floor. Barkal made vault and bars finals, while Murdock made finals of the beam and Faulkner floor finals.

Barkal had an eighth-place finish in vault at 9.50 and bars at 9.325. Maeve Murdock was seventh on the balance beam at 9.15, and Faulkner tied for seventh on the floor at 9.45.

“I’m so happy for my three teammates that qualified for the meet on Feb. 16. Our team is very close and everyone worked so hard this entire season, it was great to see it all pay off in the meet,” said junior Alex Wigdale.

New Trier Gymnastics ended the season on a powerful and valuable note. Barkal said that the team does not need to do anything differently next year, “I think they just need to keep up what they have been doing, work hard, have fun, and try new skills.”