The Forest Hills gymnastics team ranks 8th in the Rockford Flip-Flop Invitational


Lucas Thompson

Senior Abby Cummings presents her bars routine.

On Saturday, January 7, the Forest Hills gymnastics team competed in the Rockford Flip-Flop Invitational. The girls ended up placing 8th out of 14 teams. 

Going into the meet, the girls didn’t have extremely high expectations. Two of the highest-scoring girls are injured, which led to the challenge of making up for their missing points. Along with the injured girls, a third of the team was gone.

Although hope was low, there were some upsides to the meet. Senior Charlotte Stephan saw through the loss and found small victories for the girls. 

“None of us came into the meet expecting to win, but I couldn’t be prouder of how everyone did,” said Charlotte. “We had two girls that have never competed in high school gymnastics before come out and compete on beam and floor which was super impressive and awesome to watch. Not only that but watching many of our returning girls hit their routines with fewer errors than the previous meets was exciting to the team.”

The girls have improved since their last meet on Wednesday. 5/5 girls qualified on vault and bars, 4/5 girls qualified on floor, and 3/5 girls qualified on beam. Altogether, the team earned a qualifying score.

The top scorers consisted of sophomore Claire Worth, seniors Abby Cummings and Maddy Bachert, and junior Addison Hoxworth. Claire scored 8.65 on vault, Abby scored 7.575 on bars, Maddy scored 8.575 on floor, and Addison scored 7.8 on beam.

Despite a few gymnasts scoring high, the scores were not enough for their opposition. The other teams brought a large variety of skills, according to head coach Jordan Lytle. 

“The invitational had teams from all across the state that brought a diverse group of talent. Some teams had incredible tumbling, while others had really strong jumps and leaps. Each team seems to have its own niche area that they excel in.” 

A smaller group of girls made it harder to put up a fight against such fierce opponents. Despite placing lower than the ladies wanted, Charlotte was gleeful of their performance.

“I am proud of everyone that competed and they should all be proud of themselves for going out there and doing what they did,” Charlotte said. 

The girls will take all the experience of the invitational into consideration and use it to prepare for the next meet. Now that they have seen such high-level competition, the ladies will understand what to envision for future competitions. They have learned what they need to work harder on as well as what they should expect from their future opponents. 

“There is always going to be room for improvement, but at each meet, the team is showing improvement,” coach Lytle explained. “They had one practice between their last meet and this one, but still almost every athlete made adjustments that boosted their scores.”

The ladies will compete away at Kenowa Hills on Wednesday, January 11 at 6:30 PM. In hopes of a shot at redemption, the team will be working harder than ever.