By Garrett Aleckson —
On March 27 and 28, the University of Wisconsin–Stout gymnastics team competed at NCGA National Championships in La Crosse, WI. The Blue Devils went up against some tough competition, but managed to finish sixth in team competition.
Kaylee Jondahl (So, Anoka, Minn.) said that they did not have their best performance at Nationals, but they still had many personal bests.
“It wasn’t our best meet, but we actually had our third-best team score of the season. Many personal bests also occurred. It was really exciting, and we were really happy just to be there.”
The team was helped out by very strong performances by Jondahl and Kenzie Hyde (Fr, Sunderland, Ont.). Hyde won the bars event on the first day of Nationals. On the second day of Nationals, Jondahl scored a 9.800 on the floor exercise to earn first place. Jondahl also scored 9.675, which earned her third place on the vault exercise.
Even though she received a great score of 9.800 on the floor, Jondahl said there are aspects that she can always improve, saying:
“There are areas that I can always clean up. Sticking my passes is a big thing for me, and my leaps and dances can always be bigger.”
Jondahl said that one of the best parts of the Nationals experience was sharing it with all her teammates.
“It was fun, loud and exciting. It was something I will always remember, especially having my teammates beside me cheering me on, rather than in the stands. It made the whole experience that much more fun,” said Jondahl.
Hyde stated that getting to Nationals was something that they were all excited to achieve. All their hard work paid off.
“We were really happy to be there. We all worked very hard to get there,” said Hyde.
Being a freshman, Hyde said that going to Nationals in her first year was something that was a really great experience.
“It was really fun, to be honest. It was really loud, and there were a lot of big teams there. It was really nice to be there with the team too, rather than going individually and not being with my friends.”
Hyde said that they didn’t set out specifically to get to a certain goal, they just focused on doing their thing and continuing to improve as the season went on.
“From the beginning, we just wanted to focus on the process, not the end result. Toward the end of the year, something finally clicked for our team. We were really able to push each other to be better. We also increased our score by 10 full points from the beginning of the season. At regionals, we had no expectations, other than to have fun. We ended up having our best meet and got to Nationals,”
Looking back at the season they had, Jondahl stressed the amount of fun she had, and how much she appreciates that she was able to share this experience with her teammates.
“This season was a lot of fun. It’s definitely something that I’ll remember. I’m thankful to have shared it with 12 other sisters.”