Girls gymnastics enthusiastic about new season


Evelyn Krupicka

Junior varsity gymnast Anna Chi works on her form in preparation for her balance beam routine during practice at Naperville Central High School on Feb. 12.

Evelyn Krupicka, Staff Writer

The Naperville Central High School girls gymnastics season kicked off in November but went on a brief pause for winter break. The team is back now and ready to charge into the season head on. 

“The girls have been working really hard,” head coach Christina Tardy said. Tardy has been coaching girls gymnastics for the past 13 years and has been in the head coach position for two years now. She was also on the girls gymnastics team when she was a student at Naperville Central. 

Junior varsity gymnast Anna Chi echoed this sentiment. Chi was on the gymnastics team her freshman year and now is back on the team for her junior year. 

“I think we have a lot of hardworking and dedicated gymnasts that really enjoy the sport and are very passionate about it,” Chi said. 

Despite restrictions due to the pandemic, Tardy noted that the team has done a great job of keeping their spirits high. 

“I wasn’t sure what the morale was going to be like in the gym,” said Tardy. “It’s just been so positive.”

Chi noted that gymnastics has also helped her with a lot of her stress, especially since she is going through her junior year in the midst of a pandemic. 

“I think gymnastics has been a very excellent way for me to use my pent up frustration from the pandemic and all the events happening around me. I think it’s just an excellent outlet for myself,” Chi said. 

Their season is set to run until mid-March, ending with the DuPage Valley Conference meet. There is no Illinois High School Association  state series to end the season this year.

“We’re just happy that we’re able to have a season and they gave us about eight or nine weeks, which is great,” Tardy said.

Looking forward to the rest of the season, Tardy thinks that the team has the best shot at vault.

Vault is an event where one of the athletes runs and leaps over the vault, landing on their feet.

“We have been doing lower level vaults and building up… I think once we get where we want to be, vault will be our strongest event,” Tardy said. 

Tardy also noticed that many of the team members have done a great job of helping each other, especially when a coach is not able to.

“The girls are really good about helping each other,” Tardy said.  “If one of the girls is on the beam and a coach isn’t watching that person, their teammates will say corrections or even tell them ‘good job.’” 

After returning from break, the girls’ skills were still a little bit rusty, but Chi is optimistic about their chances. 

“A lot of the girls are getting a bunch of new skills, and some of them are getting their old skills from last year back,” Chi said. “And I think it’s really nice to see that happening.” I think the team this year will do really well.”