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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

Gymnastics team works through tough season

White powdery chalk dust fills the air. Fans and teammates cheer loudly. Judges jot down notes as they decide their final scores. Individuals work hard in their events to get as many points as possible. The season is going to be more successful than ever expected.

The girls gymnastics team this season is young, with a roster of  four seniors, two juniors, one freshman, four eighth graders, and a seventh grader. This, on top of this the looming terror that is Cretin-Derham Hall‘s team this year, has made the easy slide to State a bit more bumpy.

Although there are many different ages from about 13 to 18 on the team they have a sisterhood family dynamic. The seniors have taken on “big sister” rolls, bringing extra scrunchies and leggings in case younger teammates forget them and being encouraging guides for meets and practices senior Chloe Stanton said.

“Lots of pep talks and lots of cheering. Just making everyone feel comfortable and supported,” junior Viva Summary said.

In all events, constant training is necessary. Consistency is the most important with beam and floor, and bravery the most important for bars and vault. Both coaches Dusty Dennis, gymnastics coach and student council advisor and gymnastics coach Joan Ledson, work collaboratively on each of their parts to keep the girls at the top of their game.

“Everyday is different. So like, some challenges that you have on Monday will be different that on Tuesday. Like two days before the meet, I couldn’t go over the vault. But then the next day I was completely fine,” Stanton said.

They’ve all risen to that challenge. So I think honestly, it’s just their willingness to figure out what they need to do. They’ve done a great job this season.”

— Joan Ledson

Dennis said the team had a dream score, a score that they wanted to get to before the end of the season. But they went way past that score early on. This dedication to teamwork that lifts each other up and pushes each other to go above and beyond is why they are so strong as individuals and as a team.

“I don’t think they had like a conversation, but they decided that this is what we need to do to have success. They’ve all risen to that challenge. So I think honestly, it’s just their willingness to figure out what they need to do. They’ve done a great job this season,” Ledson said.

The team went state-bound, with all members of the varsity team making it in one or two events. Junior Libby Quast got fourth place in vault at state. Each member used their determination to do their best to succeed.

“I think the team has already beaten their goals and what they were attempting to do. They can walk away with their heads held pretty darn high. We’ve had lots of huge successes that we are proud of,” Dennis said.

The team grew way above and beyond what anyone, even their own coaches, thought they would accomplish this season. From eliminating a score they set to beat, to making it all the way to the state championship, they really showed that their determination and teamwork took them to success.

“Like this is a it’s a small team. And it we’ve had a small team before but this team is small and mighty. They have drive and oil. And I just hope that they can see that. What they worked all season for and up from last season to this season is truly attainable for them,” Ledson said.

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Cole Nuss
Cole Nuss, Layout Editor
I am Cole Nuss, a junior layout editor. I do a lot of activities and almost always have stuff to do I do: Football, Speech, Sailing, Band, Peer Helpers, and Theater in school and for fun I like to be outside doing anything like skiing in the winter and swimming in the summer. I love nature and hanging out with friends, I also love traveling and seeing new places. I am most looking forward to creating connections with people I interview about stories and fellow staff members.

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