Gymnasts to face White Bear Lake in meet

Team shares preseason goals


Emily Ziessman

Sophomore Rachel Stein practices her bar skills to prepare for her next meet. The first gymnastic meet is at 11 a.m. on Dec. 1 at White Bear Lake.

Tamar Gewirtz

With just a few weeks of practice, this year’s gymnastics team is preparing itself for their first meet of the season.

Senior Savannah Romero, captain of the gymnastics team, said the gymnasts are currently working hard and putting effort into practice to prepare.

“We do a lot of dance throughs, meaning we don’t do all of the big tumbling and the skills in our routines just to kind of keep that going. But were also working on skills to put in some new skills for that first meet,” Romero said.

New St. Louis Park head coach of gymnastics Dawn Thielen said that this preparation started on the first day of practice.

“Right away, from day one, we started doing an endurance conditioning every day, and we add to it a little bit more,” Thielen said. “We maybe do one or two endurance conditions right away so we’re in the gym, we’re practicing, we’re getting ready.”

To prepare specifically for the meet, sophomore Eden Swartz said that the girls are practicing many different parts of the competition.

“We have a lot of new drills and we are starting to practice routines. Girls are getting new routines and we’re also learning the new requirements since they changed them this year,” Swartz said.

According to Thielen, this meet is unlike any other. Because of the nature of it, it will present a new opportunity to many of the gymnasts.

“This is a really unique and cool meet, it’s actually an invite so it’s not very important but it’s a unique invite. Instead of it just being a varsity invite that has your typical top five varsity spots, it’s actually an eight-girl invite,” Thielen said.

Thielen said that afterwards, the team will receive feedback from judges on its routines and how it can improve.

“Our next meet is against Richfield, which is two weeks after that, (so it) allows us time to take the feedback we get from judges, and apply that to our very first important duo meet,” Thielen said.

Romero said that this first meet will be an important kickoff to the season; not in the aspect of the competition, but in individualistically discovering and developing skills and strategies.

“(I feel) a little nervous but excited. This first meet on Dec. 1 is just kind of a chance for us to put in some new skills, try some new things that we haven’t done before because it is not one (the meet) that is usually part of our season,” said Romero.

Swartz said she also maintains an optimistic attitude for this upcoming meet.

“I’m really excited (for the meet). We have three new girls on the team which is super fun. We also have a new head coach, and she does a lot of new drills. (I believe) exciting things are gonna come,” Swart said.

According to Romero, Thielen encourages the team to just enjoy itself at this first meet.

“She (the coach) is just saying go out there, have some fun, try new things. It (this meet) is just kind of a way for all of us to get all of our nerves out without having any pressure behind it,” said Romero.

Thielen said that she too feels confident for the upcoming meet due to the girls’ hard work ethic and cooperation.

“I am feeling really good. The girls are phenomenal, they are really hard working, they are open-minded (and) they’ve been really accepting and receptive to any of the feedback I provide… we’re exactly where we need to be right now and I’m feeling really good, I can’t say enough positive things about it,” Thielen said.

The meet will take place at 11am on Saturday, Dec. 1 at White Bear Lake.