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Kingston gymnastics gains momentum
A set of new gymnasts on the mat competing for the Kingston High gymnastics team could be just what the program needs.
The team has a total of 12 gymnasts this year—five more than last year—a new group of freshman may turn things around for the team.
Though there are eight girls who have never competed for the team, the dedication that freshmen such as Megan Kelly show towards the sport is something to give any coach confidence.
“The only person you’re really competing against in gymnastics is yourself,” Kelly said.
Kelly began competing in gymnastics on a club team, which she participated in for 10 years. Because of the extra time high school took out of her schedule, she said she quit the club team, but could not stay away from the mat.
“I decided I just wasn’t ready to stop,” she said.
All eight girls new to the team are freshman. The returning girls include: senior Dana Van Wyck, sophomores Megan Keller and Kirsten Nessly, and junior Tori Gerken.
Wyck and Keller both qualified for state last year and Gerkin qualified for districts.
Of the competitors this year, head coach Sheila Moore said right now Keller, Wyck and Kelly all show potential for making the state competition. All three girls will compete in the four events of gymnastics: bars, balance beam, floor and vault.
The team is three years old and Moore said the goal of the team is to beat its previous scores.
“It’s good to see a lot of freshman join so we can keep feeding the program,” Moore said.
Four years ago, the team was combined with North Kitsap because of short funding.
The teams split again because they felt they lost team identities.
Because of the slow start the team is still in its building phase, but Moore said eight freshman is a good sign for the team.
“As a new team it’s difficult to beat some of the older programs,” Moore said, adding that last season the team defeated Port Angeles during the first meet.
Moore grew up about a mile from where Kingston High School currently stands and competed in local gymnastics programs since third grade, she said. She attended North Kitsap High School, where she competed in state twice on the team.
In terms of making state, she said students need to be able to take instructions well.
“Most of our girls are quiet,” Moore said. “We don’t have many talkers, they just come in and focus on what they need to do.”