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First meet brings excitement for Geneseo Seniors

by Melissa Pischke

After months and months of being out of the gym, the GHS gymnastics team debuted in their first meet of the shortened season traveling to Riverside Brookfield on February 17. There was much excitement among the team about finally being able to compete, especially for the senior gymnasts Grace Girten, Melani Hodge, Olivia Johnson, and Evie Wilson. Senior team captain Evie Wilson shared, “I didn’t even think we would be able to compete this year, so getting back into the competition environment with my friends was amazing. I was so excited to see everyone together again.” Grace Girten, senior captain, said, “I was so excited we were able to have a season this year and am thankful we can attend multiple meets.” Along with the excitement, there were also a few extra nerves leading up to the meet. Girten shared, “We were definitely nervous to compete coming back from a long break, but everyone on the team did extremely well for our first meet back.”

The varsity squad placed 3rd as a team behind the talented Glenbard East and Riverside Brookfield teams. Geneseo had several top 5 finishes in individual events as well as placement in the all-around competition. Geneseo was led by senior, Melani Hodge, placing 3rd in the varsity all-around (31.15). This is Hodge’s first high school season, however, she brings lots of competitive gymnastics experience to the team. Hodge also had individual places in bars (4th-T) and vault (5th). Sophomore, Addison Pischke, followed placing 4th in the all-around with a score of 30.5. Pischke also brought home an individual 4th place varsity finish on vault. Evie Wilson had a score of 30.3 to secure a 5th place varsity all-around finish. Sophomore Emily Wilshusen (29.65) and Grace Girten (29.3) provided solid performances for the varsity team placing 6th & 7th in the all-around, respectively.  

The junior varsity team turned in a 2nd place finish among the 3 teams. The junior varsity team had multiple gymnasts place in both the all-around and in the top 5 on individual events.  Sophomore, Alexa Jolly placed 4th in the junior varsity all-around (30.0). Jolly tied as the floor champion, was 3rd on vault, and 5th(T) on bars. Reagan Lommell, junior, was 5th in the junior varsity all-around (29.7). Lommell was 4th on bars and beam, and 5th on floor. Sharing the 6th place all-around finish (29.65) for the junior varsity competition was sophomore Amelia Henkhaus and junior Taylor Vandevoorde. Henkhaus was 3rd on floor and 5th on vault.  Vandevoorde placed 2nd on vault. Sophomore Jaelynn McCann brought home a 5th place finish on bars and also competed on floor. Junior, Triston Highton, performed on floor, vault, and beam.  

The junior varsity-2 team had several girls compete in the all-around. The other teams were not able to field full junior varsity-2 teams. Brooke Boone had an all-around score of 25.8. She was followed by Aubrey Brumbaugh (AA 22.6). Other Geneseo gymnasts competing in events for the junior varsity-2 competition were: Senior Olivia Johnson, Junior Mallory Setser, Sophomore Jordyn Sedlock, and Freshmen Leah Roemer & Skylar Wainscott. Johnson competed on beam, floor, and vault (7.15). Setser performed on floor and vault (7.0).  Sedlock competed on floor (7.35) and beam. Roemer (7.2) and Wainscott (7.4) both performed on vault and Roemer also performed a floor routine.  

After the meet, the feeling among all of the gymnasts, especially the seniors, was the same: gratitude. Gratitude for their coaches, teammates, their sport of gymnastics, and the opportunity to compete again. Girten is more than ready to “keep working hard and have fun with all of my friends.” Wilson shared, “Gymnastics has been a place where I can count on coaches and teammates to lift me up and remind me that there’s light at the end of the tunnel....” 

.....the tunnel that the Geneseo gymnastics team continues to leap, flip and fly through with nothing but perseverance.  The team is coached this year by Chris & Larry Ward.  They will travel to Hazel Green (WI) and Glenbard South in the upcoming week. 

GHS Senior Gymnasts (L to R): Melani Hodge, Grace Girten, Evie Wilson, Olivia Johnson