Park tumbles over the competition

Orioles beat Roosevelt in last dual meet


Mya Stanberry

Sophomore Hazel Theis completes uneven bar event Feb. 8. Park gymnastics competed and won against Roosevelt.

Anya Panday and Layla Mickelson

Park’s Orioles squared up against Southville Roosevelt on Feb. 7 for the last dual gymnastics meet of the season. The Orioles took a 122.95 – 78.125 win in their last home meet of the season, which set them up for the beginning of their sections preparation.

Assistant coach Kiri Palmquist said she was excited for the Orioles to try new things, as well as see new faces compete.

“I was excited going into the meet, because there were a lot of girls who were either competing for the first time tonight or trying new things, which is really exciting,” Palmquist said. “I was even more excited when we got to see girls try new skills for the first time and actually do them well.”

Senior captain Sophia Earle said she was happy to be with her team and proud of what they accomplished. 

“I was super excited going into this meet. It’s my last dual meet and I was excited to have fun with my team,” Earle said. “After the meet I was proud, we went out there and all did our best.” 

According to Palmquist, the team is the strongest on floor and vault right now, even as they continue to try new skills. 

“Floor and vault, that’s where our best skills are right now. (The team) is learning a lot of new skills right now, which is amazing,” Palmquist said. “It’s also where our highest scores are right now.”

Sophomore Abi Oppegaard said the Orioles improved their team spirit throughout the season, which has helped their performance.

“Toward the end of the season we’ve gotten a lot better at team bonding, like being an actual team,” Oppegaard said. “In this sport that’s really important, because a lot of this sport is mental.”

According to Earle, mentality is an important factor in a gymnasts success, due to the nature of the sport.

“One of the main things that has stopped me and a bunch of our teammates within our gymnastics is the mental aspect of it,” Earle said. “It’s difficult to just throw yourself into the air and hope that you’ll be okay, and I think that is something that a lot of us struggle with — it’s why gymnastics is so hard. It’s so rewarding when you get past that phase.”

Oppegaard said that confidence can affect your mindset and performance during meet day.

“We need to have more confidence with our skills,” Oppegaard said. “Mentality plays a big role, so when you get really nervous it’ll obviously affect our skills and we may not do as well as we did in practice.

Earle said the team planned for this meet by running their routines and zoning in on difficult skills.

“We prepared for this meet by practicing our routines and going through any skills we didn’t make in our past competitions to make sure we have everything solidified and are confident in our abilities,” Earle said.

According to Palmquist, the Orioles have been trying out many new skills, which they are planning to practice for sections.

“Because we’re going into sections soon, we tried a lot of new skills today. Some girls competed new skills for the first time,” Palmquist said. “We’re having girls try out new skills before the section meet so they can become stronger.”

Gymnastics’ next meet is Feb. 18 at Hopkins High School. Time is to be determined.