Gymnastics Takes the Floor

This year has brought the chance for many sports to get back on track after last year’s shorter seasons. Winter sports teams are in full swing now and the Stone Bridge varsity gymnastics team is no exception. Their first competition was on Dec. 6, 2021, and they placed in the top three teams at each of the six competitions they’ve competed.  

“We’ve placed 3rd as a team at most of our meets, and we have had some individuals place too,” freshman Adrina Smith said.

Though there are still some restrictions on competitions due to COVID-19 concerns–such as events being warmed up and performed separately and equipment being sanitized–there is also a small return to normalcy in the form of an audience to cheer the teams on. Many of the members say that it is encouraging to have a crowd to cheer them on as they compete.

“It’s nice because last year we couldn’t have spectators, so this year it was cool to have people watching us,”  sophomore Natalie Carolan said. 

At each competition, the team competes in four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor. Six gymnasts compete in each event and the top four scores count towards the total score for the team. Gymnasts can also place individually. If someone competes in all of the events, they are called an All-Around and have a separate score that is created by adding the scores from all of their events.

“Our main goal this season is to always try to increase our team score from the previous week,” Coach Kelly Rosati said. “Our other goals have been for gymnasts to improve their individual routines and increase their scores throughout the season.” 

For many of the younger gymnasts, this year has been a chance for them to feel what a high school gymnastics season is truly like and to improve their skills. They’re also encouraged to learn new things and experiment with their routines to improve them.

“I am really proud of my season so far,” sophomore Melanie Mallett said. “I’m excited about the new skills I am getting that I can hopefully compete [with] soon.”

Though skill is important in gymnastics, the team also has plenty of spirit to go around. While audiences are now allowed to watch meets, their teammates are also there to cheer each other on during events. 

“I love the team,” Mallett said. “[They are] so supportive and fun. They encourage you to do your best and practice and competitions are so much fun with them.” 

Plus, they have their own fun traditions within the team as well.

“I love the hype after having a good meet on the way back, and how fun the team is,” Carolan said. “We even have a spirit stick, except it’s a decorated plunger, which is pretty unique.” 

On Saturday, Feb. 12, the team will go on to face regionals at Woodgrove High School. If they can take the top spot there, the team will go on to compete at the VHSL Team Competition at Heritage High School on Feb. 18. The top four individuals at each event will also get the chance to compete in the VHSL Individual Competition on Feb. 19. 

“Placing first in our first meet of the season was a really good feeling,” Coach Rosati said. “I am hoping that we will have a successful regional competition and have gymnasts advance to the state competition.”