Flipping out for first practice

LZHS welcomes gymnastic team this year


Krista Wohler, sophomore gymnast, practices a wolf jump on the beam at United States Gymnastics Training Center. The gymnastics team began practices at USGTC this past week.

As 13 girls leap into the start of the season and practicing for the first time in years, the new girl’s gymnastics team began training this week.

The team started off practice with a quote of the day for inspiration, and then they stretched, headed to their first event, switched events, and then did strength conditioning to finish. At the end of each practice, the team says what they are grateful for and highlight each other for what they accomplished that day as a team.

“The biggest challenge this year is that none of the girls know anything about high school gymnastics, [and] we’re all learning about it together,” Annette LaVine, girls’ gymnastics assistant coach, said. “We’re lucky to have [Chelsie Seplowin, head coach], because she’s coached high school gymnastics before and she knows the ins and outs.”

Currently the girls practice at United States Gymnastics Training Center (USGTC) everyday except for Tuesdays and Sundays, according to LaVine, and they hope to grow as people and gymnasts this season.

“The first week of practice has been really good. Everyone there is super dedicated and all really passionate about gymnastics, passionate about helping their team, and [passionate about] doing well,” Teagan Jones, sophomore gymnast, said. “It’s really cool to see everyone working together. The girls on the team are very uplifting and work very hard. They are all very dedicated to each other.”

Jones has been competing in gymnastics for 8 years already, and is excited for the upcoming season to work towards getting to state individually as well as with the team to meet these goals. She says the coaches are very helpful in training.

“The coaches [Seplowin and LaVine] are both really kind and knowledgeable, high school coaching is more tough and strict compared to competitive [gymnastics]  because they are trying to push us to be better as a team,” Jones said. “Competitive [gymnastics] is more about pushing yourself, and coaches are there to help you do well, but high school is pushing you and your team as a whole.”

The best part about coaching is the girls, according to LaVine, is that they really encourage each other and gymnastics teaches them more than just about a sport. It teaches them how to have a growth mindset, believe in each other, and work towards a common goal.

“I feel like there’s a lot of things we need to work on so we all have a very good base,” Jones said. “Personally, I feel like I have a good base I can work off of during [the] season, so I feel it will be really good and we can all improve well by the end of the season for the state meet.”

This road competing until state comes with challenges, and some of which include gym space and timing constraints, according to Jones. Although there are these challenges, Jones has confidence that the new team will make an impact on the Illinois high school gymnastics world this year.

“People do not know what’s going to hit them,” LaVine said. “Lake Zurich is definitely going to make a big impact on this community and the other high schools: they have no idea what’s coming.”