Gymnastics: No time-outs. No half-time. No over time.
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The Hollis Brookline Gymnastics Team consists of twelve girls: freshman Ana Clifton, Cambria Pomeranz, Emelia Mulligan, Maddie King, Meghan Veino, Paige Boggis, Peyton O’Connor and Sara Hamblett 20’,sophomore Naomi Kosper ‘19, senior Katie Connors ‘17 and Megan Gialluca ‘17.They practice Tuesdays and Thursdays, but during competition season, they sometimes practice on Sundays as well. Practice is held with teams from other schools at Gymnastics Village in Amherst, NH.
To be considered a team, the members must have five people or they have to compete independently. Three gymnasts must participate in each event and two athletes need to compete in every event. Competition is very professional: uniforms must be the same, and everyone must look the same. At a competition, the gymnasts compete in four events: beam, floor, vault, and bars.
It may be called a competition, but that doesn’t stop schools from cheering other gymnasts from different schools. Megan Gialluca ‘17 said, “It is the unspoken rule of gymnastics that everyone cheers for everyone.”
Seniors Gialluca and Katie Connors have been co-captain for two years. There are no tryouts to make the Hollis Brookline Team. Gialluca said, “If you want to try out, you should. We are accepting of everybody.” She made it clear that bars are her favorite event to participate in: “I feel like I’m flying.” Connors added, “When competing, you may be the only one on the floor, bars, beam, or vault–but you are not alone because your coaches and your team are beside you cheering you on.”
A typical practice consists of going through the routines for each event and practicing the skills they all need to work on. Each gymnast works hard to gain strength for the next competition. The team may also work on choreography. “[Coach] Tom Williamson is very awesome and good at spotting,” said Gialluca, adding that gymnastics is one of the most physical sports you can do; it’s a full body workout.”
Some days are harder than others. “[These] are the best days because you feel like you have made a champion,” said Connors
All of these athletes work hard for a common interest–sport that has competition but isn’t always competitive. There is ongoing meets until February as the team is in competition season right now.