The Flexible Life

Veteran gymnast scores high at competition, leading team improved performance


Joseph Anderson

Flying through the air, senior Ashley Ammann competes in the vault at a meet hosted at LHS on Sept.11.

By Cortlynn Stark

Backhandsprings. Cartwheels. Layouts. Round offs. The list goes on and on.

There are hundreds of different moves between the three areas that Lawrence High gymnasts compete in: bars, beams and floor. With so many different skills to master, it takes a great deal of work and time to be a gymnast.

That is something junior Ashley Ammann, who placed 17th at state as sophomore last year, has put forth.

“She works really hard,” gymnastics coach Brooke Kissinger said. “She wants to do well.”

“Well” is a bit of understatement considering Ammann’s success. Although she placed at state last year, she strives to do better this season. At the LHS quad, Ammann placed sixth on vault and fifth on bars.

Ammann acknowledges the impact of Kissinger — Coach K — on her success.

“Coach K has been a good influence on me,” Ammann said. “She pushes me and never gives up.”

But Kissinger is not the only one with a positive influence on the gymnastics squad.

“She’s a positive influence on the team,” Kissinger said. “Girls watch her practice and realize that maybe they should be doing the same thing, and it makes my job easier because they have such a good role model to look up to during practice.”

In the gym, the girls work on an assortment of skills, ranging from a front flyaway to a back tuck. They showcase these skills during meets, placing third overall at the most recent home meet, which was also senior night.

“We’ve been steadily progressing,” senior gymnast Heather Wisbey said. “Our team scores have constantly been getting better and better, and we’ve been working on new upper level skills that are going to help us propel forward and help us make the top eight, so we can go to state.”

State will take place Oct. 25 at Newton High School.