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CHAMPS: Gymnastics posts school record score to win state title
March 7, 2018
If the Stillwater gymnastics team was going to have its best performance of the season, then the 2018 Class 2A State Tournament was the time to do it.
The Ponies posted a team score of 150.25, their highest total not only of the season, but in school history. That was good enough to take the State Championship.
“That was just… unreal,” junior Isabel Bartosh said on the title win. “It’s even hard to think about right now cause it doesn’t seem real.”
That feeling was shared by most of the girls. For a lot of them, this was their second go-around; the team placed 5th last year at State. Still, the feeling and pressure was there.
“It’s really intimidating at first cause there’s a lot of people there and the lights are really bright,” senior Danielle Keran said.
Bartosh added, “Looking out at the stands and seeing how many people are there is really intimidating, but it’s also really exciting.”
One of those reasons to be excited? Scoring on average just 2.44 points below perfection on every team event. On the floor event, the girls scored just 1.75 points below the maximum.
“We wanted to hit every event, cause we hadn’t done that this season. That was our goal,” junior Sami Chang said.
It wasn’t a perfectly smooth season though. Head coach Traci Swenson stepped down before the season, leaving assistant Dusty Dennis and Joan Ledson to take over.
“We had a team meeting [after it happened] and we were like ‘Okay so this happened, and we’re just gonna move on come together,'” Bartosh said.
That news affected everyone differently. Swenson had been Keran’s coach since 8th grade.
“At first it was a little tough, but Joan and Dusty were really good,” Keran said.
Chang added the girls pushed through, and the reward was a State title.
“I think this time, we knew it was a little different because we knew we were better,” Keran said.
Better, meaning the best in school history, and a moment they’ll never forget.