Malden High’s Co-Ed Gymnastics Team Jumps into Victory

On January 4th, the Malden Varsity Co-Ed Gymnastics team started off their season with a win in their first meet. The team surprised many with their incredible skills and sportsmanship. Their first competition was an away meet against Medford High School.

The competition included four different events: uneven bars, vault, floor, and beam. These events helped challenge each competitor on skill, technique, balance, flexibility, and overall performance. For each event, only six were selected to perform. 

Before the competition started, everyone was practicing and for some, it was their first-ever gymnastics meet. Senior and captain Isabella Oliveira said, “It was [their] first meet of the season and for a lot of the team, their first time ever competing in gymnastics.” There were also many new people on the team so it was nerve-racking. Freshman Alison Diez who is new to the team said, ”[she] was really scared and nervous no matter how many competitions you do, [you will] always feel like you have goosebumps and butterflies in your stomach.”

With the first event being on the uneven bars, a few teammates made their way there. Uneven bars can be hard since they take a lot of endurance. But even though it may be difficult, Malden successfully made it through.

The second event for Malden was the vault. Like uneven bars, it also takes a lot of endurance. The vault is where you run down a runway, then jump and do tricks like flipping with your hands.

Junior Ivana Marinkovic getting ready for the vault. EVELYN RUAN

The third event was the floor. In gymnastics, the floor specializes in performing, dancing, and doing acrobatic tricks. While you perform, music plays in the background. 

One of the hardest events in gymnastics is the beam which was also Malden’s final event for the competition. The beam is considered to be hard because it is thin and takes a lot of effort to balance. Due to that, it can be challenging to do tricks on it without falling.

After Malden and Medford both finished all four events, the competition was officially over, and both teams were anticipating which team would win. A few moments later, the scores were finally revealed. Medford had a score of 108 points and Malden with a total of 112.65 points. Once the speaker revealed Malden as the winning team, they all cheered in happiness. Both teams went in a line and shook hands in a way to show their sportsmanship for each other. Assistant coach Nicholson commented, “Great victory for our first meet, a lot of kids coming out and surprising us. [They] had very little falls on the beams and tried new things so it was really good to see…everyone came out and tried their best.”

Even with a successful first game, some gymnasts had a few things to say. Oliveira commented, “[she] thinks our team did pretty good. Everyone was able to pick up meet etiquette pretty quickly, especially when it comes to saluting, flashing scores.” For freshman Sofia Vargas, it was not only her first ever meet, but she is also new to the team. She mentioned how she thought “[she] did pretty well because it was [her] first meet,” but  felt as though she“[could have] done better and now [knows] what to improve on for the next meet.” There were also a lot of positive vibes too. Diez stated, “[she felt] like it got us together more as a team since it was the first competition,” Freshman Stephanie Santos also agreed and said, “There was a lot of good vibes and [they] tried really hard and it was really good and it was such a nice experience.”

Many members on the team agreed on how they wanted to improve and had many goals for the season. Coach Nicholson noted, “[Their] goals are to try and get better individually,” while also improving on getting a huge big score base. Santos’ goals for the season are to improve not only her skills but also “be a good friend and a good partner.”

With the first meet being successful, Malden will surely achieve and accomplish their goal of winning more games.

Malden Co-ED Gymnastics Team getting ready to take a group picture. EVELYN RUAN

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