Back handsprings, tucks, and layouts: these are difficult tasks that members of the varsity gymnastics team perform every day with ease. Tumbling towards the close of her final season, senior Samantha DeSousa reminisced on the highlights of the year. “My favorite moment of the season was the connection I had with the seniors, and the amount of fun we had at each practice. Our team is very uplifting and supportive of all of the teammates, no matter what we are going through individually, we always come together to make sure that everyone feels welcome,” DeSousa said.
However, not all of the members, like freshman Ishita Rathore, will be a part of next year’s program. “The team was a really fun environment. If I ever needed help I could always ask the upperclassmen. I’m really going to miss the whole team since I am going to Independence next year,” Rathore said.
Freshman Riya Dass looks forward to her future in gymnastics. “I liked gymnastics; it was a very easy-going season with a lot of hard work. It was difficult to have meets during school because we had to do our homework in advance. We went to a lot of different schools to compete, and the bus rides with the team were great. I’m looking forward to continuing next year!” Dass said.
Freshman Shruti Narayanan favors one particular event over the others. “My favorite event is definitely floor because it lets you show your personality and artistry. Gymnastics is really special to me; it’s a tough and competitive sport that makes it fun to learn new skills and improve every day. It makes me happy when I earn my accomplishments, and it was also a great way to meet some of the closest friends I’ve ever had,” Narayanan said. At the regional competition, held at Freedom High School on Feb. 5, Narayanan scored a 7.625 out of 10.
Similarly, junior Ashita Sahu enjoys floor the most as well. “I like floor because you have the freedom to create your own routine based on your preferences; you can show your personality through the music choice and dance style of the routine,” Sahu said.
Gymnastics veteran senior Rylee Hale went from diapers to leotards. “I started gymnastics when I was around three and continued on until seventh grade. I didn’t get back into it until my sophomore year at Rock Ridge when the current seniors on the team convinced me to join, ” Hale said.
While the team didn’t qualify to advance to the next round, their bond together kept them in good spirits. “We didn’t qualify as a team and no one qualified individually, but it was still really fun. It was our last competition as seniors and we had a feeling that we wouldn’t make it, so instead of stressing about the results and whether we would qualify, we just had a good time and relaxed. It was a great way to end the season,” Hale said.