Balancing Act


Chloe Kapica , Feature Editor

Looking over the crowd from the edge of the mat, she prepared to jump onto the vault.

On Feb. 12, two girls on the H-F gymnastics team qualified for IHSA Sectionals and faced off against other schools in Illinois.

Freshman Alyssa Brigham and sophomore Natalie Thompson competed against fifteen schools at sectionals.

One of the two girls, Thompson, was honored to represent H-F seeing as the high school rarely makes it to state.

“I was really proud of myself for making it because last year, only one girl made it,” Thompson said. “So for two people to make it and were both underclassmen, I was really proud of us.”

Alongside Thompson was Brigham, who was hopeful that even though she was from a small team, she would still be able to win against them.

“Some of the other teams are a little bit bigger and to be there with all the bigger teams and better schools, it felt like I could do that too,” Brigham said.

This was Thompson’s first year in gymnastics and she wasn’t sure if she would be any good on the team.

“I didn’t really know if I could… have success in gymnastics at first,” Thompson said. “It was hard to get back into the swing of things.”

While at sectionals, she was doubtful if she would be as good as the other teams there.

“It’s kind of intimidating seeing all of the other people who are better than you,” Brigham said. “So I was a little scared at first, but then I just realized, I have to try my best.”

Even though the two were doubtful at times, there were some uplifting moments. The rest of the girl’s gymnastics team visited Thompson and Brigham at Sectionals.

“After my routine, they all gave me a big hug and it was really heartwarming that they were there to support me,” Thompson said.

What Brigham loved most about Sectionals was how close everyone was with their teammates.

“Seeing all the girls from the different teams being (at state) for each other and supporting each other,” Brigham said.

Next year, Thompson will try harder to improve her skills.

“I’m definitely going to take practice more seriously. Now that I know that I can make it a little bit further I’m going to work hard at practices and do better,” Thompson said.

Like Thompson, gymnastics has helped Brigham improve her self-image as she sharpened her skills.

“It’s made me surer and more confident in myself like knowing that I’m capable,” Brigham said. “I can do the same things everyone else is doing.”

Overall, the two were impacted by the experience and have grown as athletes.

Although the season is coming to a close, Brigham and Thompson are looking forward to what next year has in store.

“Next year, I definitely want to get harder skills,” Brigham said. “So that in the years to come, I can place even higher and do even better.”