This winter season the girls gymnastics team qualified for the state championship as a team for the second time in school history– the first time was 40 years ago. The girls took sixth place against the top 10 teams in the state at the meet held at Palatine High School from Feb. 21-22.
“I can easily say that positive energy, mindfulness and determination helped make us go this far,” junior Emma Hallin said.
Throughout the season, the girls have been one of the top teams in the state based on their top scores at certain meets, but winning the regional championship and receiving a qualifying score at the sectional meet were what carried the gymnasts to the state meet.
“What helped the team make it to state was all of us coming into practice every day and putting lots of effort toward our skills and routines while encouraging each other to work hard,” freshman Emily Weiss said.
With the many reps, long hours of practice and dedication to the sport, the girls said they knew they had to stay motivated in order to be state qualifiers.
“It’s surreal that we made it to state as a team, especially since all of us came from the same club team when we were younger,” senior Sydney Naddy said.
Many of the girls on the team have done gymnastics most of their lives and have even done club gymnastics together when they were younger. As a result, members said these factors were an advantage for achieving top-level performances.
“This season was so much fun. Even though it is always hard to make it as a team and accomplish our biggest goals, we all continued to work hard for it,” Hallin said.
As with every sport that has to overcome setbacks, the gymnasts had many injuries that required the coaches and the girls to adjust when it came to who was eligible to compete. But, by the end of the season, all the gymnasts were healthy in order to compete for a state qualification.
“It proves that we not only had a couple of awesome gymnasts but a whole team of hard-working girls that put in so much effort this year to accomplish this goal,” Weiss said.
At the state meet, the girls on the team said they found the atmosphere of having the spotlight on them thrilling. For the seniors, it was the best way to be together as a whole team one last time.
“It was definitely emotional for us because we had all gone through the journey together for about 10 years or so,” Naddy said.
For those coming back next year, the gymnasts were excited to know they are capable of anything to which they put their minds. They said the progress made this year also shows them the importance of staying positive and determined through the entire season.
“The experience at state encourages me and the rest of the team for the future because, now that we’ve been to state, it’s going to make us work harder so that we can get back to state and have that experience again,” Weiss said.
Because the gymnasts had a memorable moment as the second state qualifiers in the school’s girls gymnastics history, team members said they enjoyed being able to do the sport they love while representing their school in the best way possible.
Naddy said, “It was cool giving Mundelein Gymnastics a rep even though there were other teams competing for the same title.”