Let’s Get Ready to Tumble

Gymnastics team has a new style

Colette Balas, Writer

The girls gymnastics team has gone through some major changes.

Anne Heinlein, the new gymnastics coach, went to school and competed on the gymnastics team at Olathe South. She also has coaching experience from a club team called McCracken’s.

“Coach Heinlein came prepared; she’s so organized,” Hannah Figgins, varsity gymnast, said.

Heinlein has a new method on how she divides varsity and JV. Instead of a predetermined JV and varsity team, the girls’ performances at practice will set which team they compete on.

“I really like her because she definitely runs a tight ship, which is a lot different from coaches we have had in the past. But she knows what she’s doing, and I already see improvements on the team since she started coaching us,” Caroline Miller, varsity gymnast, said.

They also have an assistant coach, Maelee Spring, who has been a gymnastics judge for several years.

“Coach Spring is really great. It will be awesome having her on our team to make sure we get the highest scores possible,” Figgins said.

There are some new faces in the gym this year. Due to expensive equipment and a lack of space, the girls from SM North have been practicing with the team at West. The girls get along very well and support each other.

“I was kind of worried about it at first since our gym is so small, but it works out really well and I’ve gotten pretty close to some of the North girls. They’re really positive and encouraging, overall just a really great team to work out with,” Miller said.

The girls are all coached together by Heinlein and Spring. The equipment is divided up by vault, bars, beam and floor and they rotate with different groups every day. Heinlein likes to mix up the schools so that they can get to know each other and act like a big team.

“The one thing that helps me with the North girls being there is that it forces me to work harder because they are all really talented,” Sammie Haverfield, varsity gymnast, said.

State this fall will be held at West. There is a rotation of 13 schools and West was chosen this year. The last time West held state was in 1985.

“West is the perfect place to hold state,” Don Perkins, athletic director, said.” All of the gyms are close and the Bridge and cafeteria can be used for resting and warming up.”

“I’m excited about state being at West this year because I know I will feel comfortable competing on our own equipment  that I’ll be practicing on all year. It’s also my senior year so I love having my very last meet being at my home school,” Miller said.