Rounding Off an Era: Gymnastics 2016

Rounding+Off+an+Era%3A+Gymnastics+2016

Holly Frigon

Senior Kalin Lamus’ heart thumps rapidly in her chest as she looks down the runway, staring down the tan colored vault at the end. Her favorite feeling in the world, but her vaults were limited. This could be the last time she felt her body fueled by adrenaline. The last time she would hear the screams and chants coming from her teammates. The last time she would feel the crumbling white chalk between her fingers and toes.

It was the summer going into her senior year when the familiar GroupMe ringtone chimed. Sophomore Bergen Cooper, a South gymnast on their team, had texted her something that could possibly change her senior year.

Gymnastics might be cancelled…Forever.

This wasn’t the first time Lamus had heard this rumor. In recent years, there were chances that the program wouldn’t continue, but this was the first year that the state strongly considered cancelling it across Kansas. 

KASHAA, the program that ran gymnastics, held a meeting in the capitol to see if the state met the requirements to keep the program running. The state had to have eight teams competing for the program to stay. Cooper was the only girl from the South and East gymnastics team to attend the meeting and see if the program would continue.

Senior Rachel Rodgers believed that the program was going to be cancelled because it didn’t bring in as much money as the other sports do. “People don’t really even know it exists,” Rodgers said.

 

Lamus sprints toward the vault. As her hands push against the hard block, she flies forward and completes a front handspring. Her feet snap against the mat. Finding her balance, she salutes the judges. 

As she exits the vault, she imagines what might lie ahead of her. She thinks about spending next year without her teammates by her side.

“They’re like my family,” Junior Mya Hutcherson said. “I can’t live without my family.”

As the summer continued, the girls grew more and more anxious.

Ding ding. The GroupMe notification alerted Lamus’ phone once again. Cooper had gotten back from Topeka with the verdict. We barely met the requirements, but gymnastics is going to stick around for another year!

After reading this, Lamus had a new appreciation for the team. No longer would she skip practices. She wouldn’t take her time in the gym for granted.

Lamus entered practice every day grateful to see her friends. Grateful to feel the chalk on her feet and hands. And grateful to be able to feel her heart pound with adrenaline every time she starts a routine.