Every routine can be finished with a perfect landing, and that is exactly what the Georgia club gymnastics team did to cap off its fall portion of competition.
The team has been working hard all semester, which paid off in its meet on Oct. 22 at Emory University. The women placed first and the men placed third overall.
“I am so proud of how our team did,” said Mariah Clark, president of the club team. “Having both teams place in the top three was a big deal for this team. It makes me excited to see what we do for the rest of the season.”
Not only did the teams place well, but there were several individual standouts as well. Justin Brauckman represented the club on the men’s side, finishing first on rings, pommel horse and all-around. He also earned second place on parallel bars, high bar and vault.
“Justin is an incredible gymnast,” freshman Nia Freeman said. “He has such a high skill level and he really is so great to watch. He really helps make the rest of us better.”
On the women’s side, Kryslyn Moore and Tori Van der Gaag both had top finishes. Van der Gaag placed first on beam and first all-around. Moore placed first on vault and second on floor, bars and all-around.
“Competing for this team is so much fun,” Van der Gaag said. “I have spent a lot of my life in a gym, but being on the club team is so much more fun because I love my teammates and I look forward to coming to the gym to practice and compete.”
The results of the competition are just one highlight that this team has. The gymnasts also enjoy a more relaxed practice environment compared to their previous experiences in the sport, as well as teammates who come together under the shared interest.
“When I came on to this team three years ago, I just wanted to do something active,” junior Miranda Abe said. “It is more than that. It is a variety of different people joined together by a common enjoyment.”
In a time of life where there are constantly tons of things to do, members of the club gymnastics team find the feel of the gym to be comforting in a time of high-stress.
“The team is really relaxed,” freshman Isabella Nienaber said. “Everyone is here to have fun and socialize with each other and work out and on our skills together.”
The club gymnastics team looks forward to several meets next semester as well as a chance to compete at nationals in Cleveland, Ohio.
“A trip to nationals would be a first for this team, and I hope we can get there,” Clark said. “I cannot wait to see what this team can do this year.”