Tripple Threat

Students From Different Schools Bonded Through Gymnastics

Tripple+Threat

Charlotte Hawes and Alex Manning

When SM South senior Phoebe Holmes went out to perform her routine, senior Abby Gorman knew all of the moves, counts, and poses in between. As the Disney music to Holmes’ routine continued, Gorman continued to dance along with her from the sideline, mimicking her motions. They may have gone to different schools, but after practicing together for four years, to them, it didn’t feel like they were on separate teams.

“My favorite thing about joining with the other teams would be meeting everyone,” said Gorman. “I have become friends with people I don’t think I would have been friends with.”

Practices in the past were at SM South, but since head coach Jess McMurray joined the team from SM West, the girls practiced there, along with the addition of the SM West gymnasts.

Since the girls practiced with a larger and more diversified team, they had an idea of what the competition was like before their meets.

“I really like getting to watch the other girls routines,” sophomore Krissy Rubesch said, “But it’s also kind of nerve wracking because we are competing against each other.”

To make sure their routines were ready for competition, McMurray helped clean them, but the girls made up their own performances. Their floor routines consisted of a minimum of three tumbling passes, one forward and two backward, typically a round-off backhandspring combo. They could use the same routine for each competition or make a new one every time.

By watching the gymnasts from the other schools at practice, the girls got new ideas for motions and moves they could add into their own pieces. Some copied poses like hand twirls and small finishes, while others used wolf jumps and walkovers.

Even though they filmed funny videos on snapchat and tried out each others most elite routine moves from the sideline, they were ready to compete against each other when it was time. But this didn’t break their bond.

“The only time we feel separated is at meets and even then we are not separated,” Gorman said, “When you’re not on your event, you’re on the event with West and cheering on the West girls, or you’re on the event with South and you’re cheering them on.”

With this year’s addition of West, the team had gotten larger. Gymnastics is usually more of an individual sport, but high school gymnastics is more team oriented, which is why the combination of three high schools gave even more of a team feel.

McMurray brought them together to celebrate their hard work with team dinners and breakfasts before meets. When they went to First Watch before early Saturday meets, McMurray made sure every order was correct and everyone got what they needed. Despite the fact that the girls were from different schools, they were still able to create an atmosphere where they could work hard together.

“They all get along great,” McMurray said. “They have a good time, we get our work done, we get in and we get after it.”