Sophomore Briana Preston. Photo CRISTOPHER CORREA.

Sophomore Brianna Preston is a new addition to this year’s Malden High Gymnastics Varsity team. This may be Preston’s first year as a gymnast for Malden High, but she has plenty of experience, as she is also a cheerleader.

Preston’s cheerleading experience is part of what led her to try gymnastics. She explained that “[she] wanted to try it out and some of [her] friends got [her] into it.” Another reason why Preston wanted to do gymnastics is also to improve her cheerleading skills.

Cheerleading has allowed Preston to excel in Gymnastics, and it shows when she performs in her competitions. Kevin Phan, who is a senior at Malden High and a member of the Gymnastics roster explained that “besides being able to tumble and do leaps, [Preston] is both a good gymnast and a good athlete because of her strong sportsmanship and passion for the sport.”

Preston is a great athlete in addition to her physical attributes and skills, because she brings such a positive and optimistic attitude whenever she performs or practices with the team. She brings that same positive attitude and mentality no matter the circumstance or unprecedented the situation. Every teammate benefits from having somebody like Preston, somebody who always makes sure that they encourage other teammates to keep pushing themselves and plays for the team as a whole, not just for herself.

Freshman Alyson Kwong is also a new addition to the varsity roster this year. Despite having never having met Preston before this season she is incredibly glad that she joined the team. Kwong states “Brianna has a really fun personality that lifts our spirits when things get stressful and rough. She helps our team by cheering us on and helping us with certain skills by giving us advice.”

Preston has a couple of goals for the season as it has progressed. She explained that she personally wants to improve on her beam routine and is determined to become better at it. Overall as a team, Preston believes that they should improve on their overall scores when they compete at meets.

One of Preston’s greatest traits, as described by Sophomore Risa Li, is her unrelenting determination and her dedication. She explained that even though Preston had injured her knee, she still participated in her events because of her dedication to the sport. Li explained that “whenever she is injured and cannot practice, she’s upset at the fact that she is not able to do anything, however she still shows up to the practice and sits and cheers on the team throughout the entire two hours.”

Preston also acknowledged the positive impact that their coach, Katie Bowdridge, has had on their team as a whole. Preston stated “[Bowdridge] is a huge part of the team without her there wouldn't be as many laughs and good times at practices she’s a huge part of the reason [she is] doing it along with a bunch of others on the team.”

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