Gymnastics slides into third at County Championships


Gymnastics athletes perform in events like beam, bars, floor and vault. The team placed third at the County Championships for the second year in a row. Photo courtesy Kristi McAleese.

By Isabelle van Nieuwkoop

For two months, the gymnastics team twisted, tumbled and leaped its way through preparation for their final meet of the season: County Championships May 8 and May 10. All their hard work paid off. The Vikes edged out Blair for third place, with Walter Johnson placing first and Sherwood close behind in second.

The top eight schools in the county competed at Counties. WJ and Sherwood entered the competition as the favored winners; both schools have finaled in the top two for the past two years.

Throughout the competition, the team remained focused and was consistent in all events: beam, bars, floor and vault. The floor, beam and vault performances were their best events, coach Kristi McAleese said.

“We were pretty close with [Blair],” senior Elea Levin said. “So we were really glad we beat them. And then Sherwood and WJ are always our biggest competitors just because they’re the best in the county.”

The Vikes also placed third at Counties last year, and while they were pleased with their overall performance, they’re hoping to bounce back next year for a shot at first place.

“For next year, a lot of the skills that we have to do to score a lot of points are the really big skills that people can be scared to try,” sophomore Caroline Cantrell said. “If we try to do more advanced choreography, like flips, we could score better and hopefully get first place.”