Girl’s gymnastics season starts off strong

Team continues to build momentum after previous year’s success


Emily Kruse

Junior Abby Afful smiles while doing a routine on the balance beam. The Lions gymnastics team placed first at the Lawrence High invitational on Sept. 27. “The most challenging part of gymnastics is trying to get new skills on bars.” Afful said. “It’s scary jumping from bar to bar and having to think about how if I have a little bit of bad technique, I could fall and break a bone.”

By Daniel Davidson, Sports Editor

From the moment senior Josie Hickerson discovered the girls gymnastics team broke a collective score of 100 in the season opener, she had high hopes for the Lions.

The team was able to break during this season’s first meet a score that last year took up until league to reach. Additionally, the Lions were able to snag the top three all-around individual places. The success continued as the team managed to score second place at the Sunflower League competition and secure the top spot in state ranking.

Coming off of the momentum of a successful previous season and fifth place state finish, the Lions have hopes to go even further. Hickerson, who helped lead the team in getting fifth at state last year, believes this year’s team has the potential to go beyond last’s.

“The last couple years we’ve had good people,” Hickerson said. “But we haven’t had enough to get good team scores. This is the first year we’ve truly had a good squad throughout.”

Despite Hickerson being out of competition temporarily due to an Achilles injury, she has already managed to come home with several medals from the first two meets. Many others have found similar success.

This is the second year with Michelle Seidner as head coach, but after the great season Seidner led the team to last year, the Lions are starting to realize more of their own effort is needed.

“Our coaches want us to win,”  junior Kaila Bradfield said. “But I think it’s more of a goal within ourselves to do the best. Last year we didn’t put in as much effort, and it showed, so this season we’re going to be working hard. We’re more focused, more dedicated to the sport, and I think just a lot more motivated to win.”

With such early successes and strong motivation, senior Eden Kingery sees the Lions bringing home a trophy from state as a real possibility, as long as team members continue to push themselves.

“I’m very excited for the rest of the season,” Kingery said. “We have a lot of new skills we’re still working on, and we’ll be able to score much higher when we perfect them.”