The Malden High Gymnastics team has began it’s 2018-2019 season. The team is already weeks into training and is anticipating their first meet on December 27th.
Senior Captain Tyler Risteen is expecting “a really good season this year.” The goal for the team, according to Risteen, is to win the South Division. In her first year on the team they failed to win any of their meets and last year managed to win three meets in total and get second place in the South Division. This year however could potentially be the season where the team can persevere and meet their goals for the season.
Due to the influx of new team-members, this is the first year in many that the gymnastics team has both a Varsity and a JV team. Risteen described how the team has improved compared to the previous season. “Last season there were a ton of new girls, but they [did not] have much experience. This year a lot of the girls know what [they are] doing.” There were a ton of new players on the team which includes freshman Alyson Kwong.
Kwong has been competing in gymnastics clubs and teams since she was seven years old and was fully committed to it. Before she quit last summer to focus on high school, she would practice for four hours a day, six days a week. Kwong’s sister, Kaytlin, was an outstanding player for the Malden High Gymnastics team, and that is partly what inspired Kwong to start playing high school gymnastics. Kwong described the difference in high school meets as “so different from club gymnastics meets.”
While there is a ton of newly-found positivity surrounding the squad, the team also has more room to improve, as does every team. Risteen has described the team as “-needing to work on being focused and making the most of their practice time.” Sophomore Risa Li also described the team as needing to “work to their fullest potential in order to maximize their ability in their meets.” While there is room to improve, there is already a strong foundation for a great season from the team.
One important aspect to this team is the chemistry that all the players share with one another. The season has just started however Li stated that the “chemistry between all the players is extremely positive. Nobody is negative towards each other and it can only get better as the season goes on.” Risteen also believes the chemistry is improved upon compared to last season and due to the team being split up into Jv and Varsity she describes the chemistry as “different, but still great.”
Overall, this season is already proving to be one of their most hopeful seasons yet. The team has been steadily improving for the past few years with these new additions to the team which includes players such as Alyson Kwong, Alexandra Celona, Brianna Preston and the returning experience of players such as Risteen and Kevin Phan. Risteen is particularly very optimistic of the season approaching.