Abby Cumings and Rachael Yeager take on the state gymnastics final


Abby and Rachael pose for their state picture.

The Forest Hills gymnastics team had its final competition this past Saturday, March 11. Two specific gymnasts got the opportunity to compete: senior captain Abby Cumings and junior Rachael “Jo” Yeager. 

States is a whole different experience for the girls. Unfortunately, Jo was restricted from the events she could participate in; she hurt her knee during warmups on floor. 

“I was pretty frustrated because I had to limit my routines on bars and beam, and I was not allowed to compete on floor or vault,” Jo told us.

As for Abby, she was full of jitters and as anxious as could be.

“I was a bit nervous overall due to the pressure of a state meet and it being my last gymnastics ever,” she said, “I was excited, though, to just go out there and have fun competing at the final meet of my career.”

Despite Jo being unable to compete, there were small victories, like they were at states. The experience was like no other.

“A state meet is always fun to be at! You get to watch the talent of other gymnasts and just have fun doing what you do best. I especially loved individual States because I got to rotate around with girls from our conference and talk with them. Usually, these girls are my competition, but at this meet, I got an inside look into their lives not only in gymnastics but outside of it—it was fun to grow closer, especially as seniors that are ending our careers,” Abby explained. 

Competition-wise, both ladies pulled together some excellent scores. Abby secured an 8.5 on the vault, 8.45 on bars, 7.925 on beam, and a 9.225 on floor. She placed 14th on the bars and 15th on the floor. She obtained a score of 34.1, placing her 16th in the state! 

For Jo, she gained a score of 8.2 on the bars and 7.95 on the beam. She placed 19th on bars and 28th on beam. Despite being injured, she still brought the heat.

Reflecting on their scores, both girls are amazed by how they did.

“I am very proud of my performance,” Abby exclaimed, “I did not expect to place anywhere near the top, but I ended up placing pretty high in most of the events! Overall, I am happy that I could go out there and come back knowing I did my absolute best—there is no better feeling than leaving knowing you left it all out there.”

There were so many amazing things, but one thing stood out for Abby. Leaving it all out there was everything to Abby. It was her last meet ever.

“One of my favorite moments was finishing my routine on bars, our final event, knowing I did my best and saluting to the judges. Because seconds after, I burst into tears knowing this was my last gymnastics routine ever and my 13-year gymnastics career was finally over. I went over and hugged my teammates, coaches, and other gymnasts we were rotating with, all with a face of smiles and tears. This was a truly special moment in which I was reminded of the hard work, sacrifice, and commitment that gymnastics takes. It is definitely bittersweet to think over the years of hard work I have put into this sport and memories that I will now cherish for years to come.” 

Both athletes put their all into their seasons, which is reflected in their performances. These girls worked the hardest they could and pulled through. Facing harsh circumstances, like Jo getting hurt, she kept going. The ladies have shown what it takes to be one of the bests and how to be a true athlete.