Girls gymnastics team giving their all

By Emma Kirkbride, Staff Writer — People tend to underestimate gymnast’s abilities and do not believe it is a true sport. Gymnastics is more than putting on a leotard, putting up your hair and flipping through the air. The girls gymnastics team has been putting in hard work and dedication since day one of the season.

“I originally wanted to qualify for sectionals but I ran into an injury and had to move that goal to next year,” junior Jessalyn Hall said.

Gymnastics may not be a contact sport but it definitely comes with injuries.Between 1990 and 2005, an estimated 425,900 children from 6 to 17 years of age were treated for gymnastics-related injuries in U.S.

There are four main events in women’s gymnastics: floor exercise , uneven bars, balance beam and vault. Participation in any and all events requires balance,strength, determination, and sometimes just a leap of faith.

Much like other individual sports, gymnasts have the option to choose which events they perform. Specializing in an event gives them a chance to show off skills highlighted in their routine. However an ultimate goal for some may be to become an all around champion, meaning that a gymnast competes in all for events and has the highest all around total.

“My favorite event is floor because I love prancing around and performing”, Hall said. “Gymnastics means everything to me, ever since 5th grade I don’t know where I’d be without it.”

The floor exercise consists of a one minute and 30 second routine with multiple tumbling passes leaps and dance steps.

Some think cheerleading is the same as gymnastics, but they are two totally different sports.

“While it may seem that cheer and gymnastics could be considered similar, they have clear differences that make them stand alone. Other than the tumbling aspect, gymnastics requires a different set of skills and abilities than cheer.” Varsity gymnastic coach Alyssa West said.

Coaching one sport just was not enough for Alyssa West, who is both the varsity cheerleading and gymnastic coach.

“I enjoy making an impact in the lives of student athletes,” West said.

One of her favorite parts about coaching so far this season is watching the girls surprise themselves at meets or practices and landing skills they thought they couldn’t.

It is exciting in any sport when you tackle a new skill or new pass. Tumbling is not one of the easiest things in the world. It takes lots of practice, timing, hand eye coordination.

“Tumbling comes very easy to me because I’ve been doing it since I was 4 years old. The younger you are the easier it is to learn,” junior Payton Fox said.

Tumbling takes strength and skill but if you put your mind too it anything is possible.

With the season coming to a close many goals and skills have been accomplished. Many gymnast are looking forward to the opportunities that next year will hold.

[Updated Aug. 20, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]