Cartwheeling into H-F

Freshmen bring fresh touch to girls gymnastics

The gym was nearly silent except for the sounds of the upbeat music and the sound of freshman varsity gymnast Jaelyn White, performing her floor routine.

The room was full of supportive students, parents and friends as the girls competed in their first meet of the season against Andrew.

Unfortunately, the girls came short by a tenth of a point. Despite their loss, the girls definitely held their head high and exuded confidence with freshman Shelby Akridge placing second.

“I think that the meet went really well, there were some hiccups, of course, but that’s expected for the first meet,” varsity Head Coach Carrie Kliver said. “We were so close to pulling off a win, but this is a great time to emphasize to the girls how much all of the little things matter.”

But things weren’t always this way.

During the past couple of years, the team has struggled to find members and had a few bad seasons. Compared to previous years, this year’s varsity gymnastics team has a lot of new additions, many of which are underclassmen.

“To be honest, we haven’t have the best record,” senior gymnast Nina Williamson said. “Surprisingly this year, we have a lot of new freshman varsity gymnast who definitely are going to make this season different than the past ones.”

There are currently 13 girls on varsity and four of them are freshmen.

Kliver said that the girls are “adjusting to the team well and motivating each other to push harder and do better.”

“The new girls on varsity did a great job, and I’m really happy with how a lot of them stepped up and put up great scores for the team,” Kliver said.

With their first meet of the season behind them, the team will now focus on correcting the little mistakes that were visible at the meet.

“Tiny things like not having good form, taking extra steps or swings and not exuding confidence while performing cost us points, and they really do add up to impact our overall score,” Kliver said. “I plan to really focus on the little things in practice over the next few days so that we don’t give away those points.”

Shallon Malfeo, one of the new freshman varsity gymnasts has about a year of experience behind her, and is looking forward to the rest of the season.

“This season, I’m hoping to learn a lot and get to know my team better,” Malfeo said. “I am extremely excited to be starting on varsity as a freshman, because it’s something new for me and I love challenges.”