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.

It’s really intimidating at first cause there’s a lot of people there and the lights are really bright.”

— Danielle Keran

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.

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Comments (19)

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  • M

    Mason WylieApr 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I like how this story gave a brief overview of the gymnastics team and their win at state. It was very informative. Also, there was good use of quotes that brought out the feelings of the gymnasts. Another thing that I liked was the addition of the hardships through the year. This made the story whole. Well done!

    Reply
  • T

    TessMar 13, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I love that we put this on the very front so it was the first thing people see when they open the website. I also think that it’s very good that we did an article on this because gymnastics worked hard for this kind of progress and they made history for SAHS.

    Reply
  • M

    Malaina FragnitoMar 13, 2018 at 8:40 am

    This article does a good job highlighting the experience at state and the road they took to get there. It is detailed of how it happened and has a nice summary of the rest of the season.

    Reply
  • R

    Rosalie BraunMar 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Opening sentence was really strong! I also love how you took the quotes and elaborated on them with facts. One flaw is that the girls actually did not beat their highest score in history. Other than that, it was great!

    Reply
  • W

    Wyatt WaskoMar 12, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I think that Hunter did a very good job on this story.
    The quotes that were used made it feel like we were there experiencing the emotion that the girls were.
    I also think that the highlighting of the head coach leaving makes it much better.

    Reply
  • E

    Ellie FedorowskiMar 12, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I agree with everything that has been said! This article does a great job showing how the gymnast felt and what their emotions were like performing!

    Reply
  • J

    Jack SeipelMar 12, 2018 at 8:06 am

    This article did a great job at showing the emotions of the gymnasts and highlighting the absence of their head coach. However, I feel like this story could have been extended as it just sort of fell off near the end. since they won state and were much better than their competition i feel theres more to say

    Reply
  • M

    Morgan GrimMar 12, 2018 at 12:12 am

    I really enjoyed this story! I love how the focus is really about how amazing the accomplishment is and how big of a deal this win really was. I really felt emotion in this story. The quotes made me smile. Overall a feel good story with good information!

    Reply
  • W

    Will GleaosnMar 11, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    This article did a great job of using quotes to convey the emotions that the girls felt after their state tournament win. This is a historic event, and the writer did a great job portraying that and explaining how big of a deal it is. It’s really cool that the team won a state championship this year even without their main head coach.

    Reply
  • L

    Linnea PhillipsMar 11, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    This article does a great job explaining the logistics of the big win for girls gymnastics. The pictures for this story are really great and help to accomplish the triumphant and proud tone of this article. Good job!

    Reply
  • M

    Michelle BurtonMar 11, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    This article was really well written. It is so great that the girls got such a great reward for all their hard work. The quotes used fit really well into the story and didn’t at all seem forced. This article was really smoothly written and it was nice to add in the stats and scores.

    Reply
  • M

    Max KennedyMar 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    your introduction was a very eye catching piece and drew me in right away. I like how you split up quotes for some of the athletes and it wasn’t like a forced quote it was eased in. I also got the feeling like i way there so the quotes on your article in my opinion were the most effective.

    Reply
  • K

    Kaitlyn KirbyMar 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    This story was written very well. It was full of great quotes that helped to make the story flow. The quotes really showed how excited and surprised the team was to be so successful this season. I also liked the details with the scores and the head coach leaving because it really showed how much they improved. The story was also organized very well.

    Reply
  • K

    Kate PoorMar 11, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I really liked how the article had so many quotes and really explained the competition. I also liked how they gave the scores because it gave more context to the story. The girls making it to and then winning state was a big deal for Stillwater so I’m glad we covered the story.

    Reply
  • J

    Jameson StahlMar 11, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    This story gave a good insight on the success of the team at the state tournament. I really liked how the stats were averaged to show the near perfection of the teams routines. I thought this story was a bit too “what if” though and could have been more factual to balance out the emotional side.

    Reply
  • M

    Mackenzie MotzMar 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    This article did a really good job using quotes effectively to convey the excitement of the team. It was also really well organized which helped moved the story along in a really nice way. I thought it was smart to put in the ratings and scores as well because it gave good structure.

    Reply
  • N

    Noah PasiukMar 9, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I think this article was really well written it’s really cool to see our gymnastics team be successful and go all the way to become state champs and I think this article does a good job of showing that. I like how it showed the scores and ratings for each player. I think it could have been a little more visual but overall very good job.

    Reply
  • J

    Jesse BrownMar 8, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I thought this article did a good job of using a variety of quality quotes from the gymnasts. It was interesting to read about the scores that they recieved from the judges during the state tournament and how close to perfection the were. I think that thisstory could’ve talked more about the season especially more about the state tournament. To go along with that I think that it would’ve made the story a lot better if a picture or two was added from the state tournament.

    Reply
  • A

    Andrew PhanMar 8, 2018 at 9:38 am

    The article does a good job using quotes from the gymnasts and how they felt. Also included their struggle with a loss of head coach. Seeing a visual picture of the state tournament would’ve helped the article.

    Reply