Males compete in female-dominated sport


Jonny Ratner

As sophomore Luke Tegan does a front handspring onto the vaulting horse, he prepares to land on the mat.

Ava Aymie, A&E Editor

The gymnastics team showcases the talent of two male gymnasts, sophomores Max Hanna and Luke Tegan, in a usually female-dominated sport.

“[Hanna and Tegan] add an element we have never had before,” senior captain Elizabeth Shaw said. “They brought in a new perspective and energy to the team.”

Hanna, who declined to be interviewed for this article, started competing on the team during his freshman year, while Tegan started his sophomore year. Despite the difference in gender, the boys are scored based on the same standards as their female competitors.

“It’s different [for boys] because it’s a girls’ team, so the boys have to compete in girl events,” Tegan said. “It’s harder for us to adapt toward their type of gymnastics.” 

The gymnastics team competes on vault, bars, beam and floor. Traditionally, males compete on vault, floor, horizontal bar, parallel bars, rings and pommel horse. 

Tegan said the team has welcomed the boys just like every other female teammate. 

“Everyone on the team is very nice; they don’t really care that there are boys,” Tegan said. “If anything, they like it because it makes our team stand out more.”

Most of the high school gymnastics teams they compete against consist of only girls.

“So far we have only seen one school with a guy [gymnast],” Tegan said. 

This is the first time that boys have competed in gymnastics at Algonquin since the boys’ gymnastics team was cut in the 1990s. 

Gymnastics is a constantly changing sport, which adds to the challenge of being on the team, Tegan claims.

“[The hardest part is] trying to push yourself to change,” Tegan said. “You’re constantly adding new things to your routines and it’s hard because you are basically competing with each other to compete on the team. You have to constantly try to get better and better.”

The boys have learned different styles of gymnastics than the girls, causing them to have less knowledge about certain events.

“The gymnastics that they did growing up would only be floor and vault,” senior captain Demetra Safiol said. “Those are the only [events] that are the same, but they can do bars and beam if they want to.” 

Tegan enjoys the team’s chemistry and friendliness.

“It’s like a little family,” Tegan said. “Everyone on there is super nice, there has never been drama, everyone’s really chill with one another.”