Gymnastics team flips through 2021 season


The gymnastic team finished their season with an undefeated 5-0 record, concluding with a 139.05 – 130.25 win against Shrewsbury on Saturday, Feb. 20. 

COVID impacted the season in a number of ways such as shortening the number of meets from 15 to five, eliminating their postseason meets. Meets were live-streamed so that people could still watch the competition. Additionally, because of COVID, there were a number of restrictions placed on the gymnasts at practice. 

“The biggest restriction was trying to stay away from as many people as possible,” head coach Jordan McStay said. “At the beginning of the season, they were put into cohorts where they stayed with only those few people the whole season. After everything, we had to sanitize all the equipment.”

Before the season started, there were many worries from the team about what the season would look like, mainly in terms of team bonding.

“Last year we were a very close team and going into this year we knew that it would affect that in a way,” senior captain Acacia Truong said. “I think we were all interested and scared to see how it would all go. I was personally scared that I wouldn’t have that sense of community, but we made it work. By the end we were definitely closer.”

This was Truong’s last meet with the team and she was able to compete All-Around, or all the events. However, Truong still has one more meet left before the official end of her high school career as she has qualified to compete in Senior Nationals held in Fort Meters, Florida on May 20-22. 

“It was definitely a bittersweet ending,” Truong said. “I am glad I ended it on a high note. I really enjoyed myself this last meet being able to try new skills that I wouldn’t normally do. I just wanted to go for it because I had nothing to lose.”

Her teammate junior captain Lizzy Debroczy competed on bars, beam and floor. Both these gymnasts contributed significantly to the team’s win, but McStay credits the whole team for this year’s success.

“This year especially, we proved that we have depth,” McStay said. “I say it all the time. Something that stands out, not just an individual person, but the fact that when Lizzy was in pain and couldn’t compete, I could look around and I have options to put in, and we are still scoring the same in the end.”  

Coach Taryn Ryan credits the team’s depth to a term they call “sneaky talent.” 

“I think we had a lot of what I would describe as ‘sneaky talent’ where if you didn’t notice these people trying new skills, you wouldn’t necessarily know how good they are, especially until I force them to do things they don’t want to do,” Ryan said. “That is where our depths come from.”

The coaches applaud the team for being so focused and driven even with the circumstances of this year. One gymnast the captains recognize for their determination this year is freshman Olivia Labelle.

“Olivia came in as a little freshman and learned so many skills and worked over so many fears, and it was just really impressive to see her compete,” Debroczy said.

Not only is the gymnastics team successful for the athletes’ independent motivation and drive, but also for the support they each give to each other. Junior Mia Gorman exemplifies this.

“Mia Gorman is someone who is always there,” Truong said. “She is very dependable in her events to do well, but she is someone that no matter the circumstance, is always supporting her team. And her bar routine amazes me.”

As for next season, McStay has high hopes and wants to continue with the momentum made this year. 

“For next season I hope we can have the same spirit as we did this season,” McStay said. “Even if there are no rainy days to make the best of, we can just make the best out of everything we are given. I think the best thing that could happen from next year is more time; more time to get people to do their goal skills and to grow as a team.”