Gymnastics faces multiple hurdles in a close match with Rockford

The energy shown by both teams was enough to be heard all around the school. Even on the other side of the school, the gymnasts cheering for their teammates and even for the opposing team was enough to fill the school.

This past Thursday, the Forest Hills Central gymnastics team faced off against Rockford at Rockford High School. This season has gotten off to a pretty good start so far, with the girls placing high in some of their most recent meets. This one, however, was slightly different because they would not be facing off against multiple teams. Instead, it was a one versus one matchup between FHC and Rockford.

The real story of the meet, however, was the underdog status of FHC’s team. Competing that night were ten gymnasts, only ⅔ of the whole team. Because of this, many of the girls had to try new competitions they had never done before, and they didn’t disappoint.

The meet started at 6:30 and lasted until 8, with both teams showing out in what ended up being a tightly contested match. The first event started with FHC on the mat with Floor Exercises. An outstanding performance from Abby Cummings is what made FHC pull ahead early, earning an outstanding 9.3 out of 10 on her routine. The Rangers were putting up a fight against the seemingly superior Rockford team right out of the gates.

While the Rangers competed in floor exercises, Rockford was competing on the balance beam and received good scores all around, which kept the match tight early on.

The next competition for the Rangers was Vault, which they had found success earlier in the year. This time around, however, it was different. Some of the younger girls had to step up, with five girls missing. Addison Hoxworth successfully completed her first-ever vault in her competitive high school career. 

However, someone else stole the show on vault, and that was none other than Bronwen Smith, who has been a steady competitor since the beginning of the season. Her performance on vault was good enough to earn her a perfect score, meaning not a single deduction was found against her. Her 10 out of 10 performance gave FHC the boost they needed to keep the match close enough for a close final.

While FHC was performing in Vault, Rockford was performing their floor exercises. They received solid marks across the board, and because of their team having more competitors, they pulled ahead with one last competition left.

The Rangers had one last competition before the points would be tallied up. Balance beam would be another difficulty for the Rangers, as they would still be suffering from losing five of their gymnasts. Taking to the balance beam for the first time in their high school careers were Lily Zorn and Allison Kelly. Together, they performed well enough to have a final score within 12 points. 

As the Rangers performed on the balance beam and Rockford performed vault, both teams were cheering for each other as if they were all on the same team. It was a great showing of sportsmanship. Sadly, the Rangers fell to Rockford 131.775 to 143.475. “We overcame many issues and tried several new skills. So, while we absolutely lost, it was still a great competition for trying new things,” said coach Lauren Suzio.