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Niwot gymnastics continues to win and improve


September 20, 2016

The Cougars gymnastics team won its second meet in a row and performed well at its first invitational, although it didn’t end in a win for Niwot.

On Tuesday, Sept. 6 the Cougars went up against Loveland and came away with a win, 174.3 to 133.125. Head Coach Marisa Purcell said the girls progressed in their routines for the meet and competing at Niwot helped boost the team’s confidence.

“I think we had some improvement on bars,” Purcell said of the meet, “cleaning up the routine a little bit. And it’s always exciting at home. You have home field advantage just being on your own equipment.”

Even with a win for the team, Purcell said they will be working on improving the girl’s’ beam routines. “Definitely still some work to do on beam specifically,” Purcell said. “It’s watching to see how their jumps are and get back in the gym and work on those things… It’s still early on in the season though.”

Three Niwot gymnasts took the top three places for all around: sophomore Lindsey Chohon took first, followed by senior Amelia Sears in second, and junior Lilli Martin in third.

“Linsey Chohon had a great meet,” Purcell said. “She got a 9.35 for her beam routine. She just had a great meet and her beam was exceptional; especially for her really being able to execute it and not have many deductions.”

Purcell also credited Sears for being able to keep the team’s spirits up and nerves down during the big meet, in addition to getting second place in the all around competition.

“She had just overall a great performance and is used to how the meets go and can keep her nerve [level],” Purcell said of Sears. “She’s our fun one who kind of keeps the team having fun. She’s laughing all the time. So it’s good to have Amelia around who keeps the worry a little less because she keeps everyone laughing and smiling.”

Although the team came away with another win, Purcell said it’s not always about winning or losing but about how the girls are performing and improving at each meet, which she tries to remind them of.

“It’s not always about the win versus the loss,” Purcell explained. “We try to watch a lot of the execution, where they’re being deducted for wobbles on the beam and step-outs on floor… I always remind them that scores don’t always reflect our performance, good or bad. It’s how do we feel how we did and where do we feel like we need to work harder.”

At the Loveland Invitational on Sept. 9, the Cougars went up against 11 other teams and walked away in fifth place with a score of 158.35, which Purcell was proud of, considering they competed against some top teams, including Overland, Broomfield and Arvada West.

“We were all where we needed to be as far as placement of where we fall in line,” Purcell said. “For us to have taken fifth at that meet was exceptional. Our beam was great and I think our overall performance was better.”

Purcell said Assistant Coach Maddi York really worked with the girls on their beam routines leading up to the invitational, and she was happy with the outcome of their hard work.

“I think going into the meet and having them be able to execute what we’re trying to teach them was for us, as coaches, more important than what the scores reflected,” she said.

The big invitational was a confidence builder for the girls and a good way to learn how to keep their nerves in check in a more intense atmosphere. “It’s getting the girls to practice on controlling their nerves, because as we get farther into the season we have bigger meets,” Purcell said. “We have leagues and at the end we have state, and we have to be prepared for that and know how to handle our nerves.”

The Niwot gymnastics team travels to Mountain Range High School next for a meet on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m., followed by the Overland Invite on Saturday, Sept. 17.


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